World

‘Erdogan may be interested to benefit from Israel-Hamas conflict’

Top EU lawmaker blames Israeli PM, Hamas for Mideast violence

May 18, 2021
Evin Incir, a socialist member of the parliament from Sweden who currently serves as vice-chair of the parliament's delegation for relations with Palestine, thinks the interests of both Hamas and Netanyahu are taking priority over the well-being of the ordinary citizens. — Courtesy file photo
Evin Incir, a socialist member of the parliament from Sweden who currently serves as vice-chair of the parliament's delegation for relations with Palestine, thinks the interests of both Hamas and Netanyahu are taking priority over the well-being of the ordinary citizens. — Courtesy file photo

Saudi Gazette report

BRUSSELS —
A top lawmaker of the European Parliament has blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas for the ongoing violence in the Palestinian territories and Israel.

Evin Incir, a socialist member of the parliament from Sweden who currently serves as vice-chair of the parliament's delegation for relations with Palestine, thinks the interests of both Hamas and Netanyahu are taking priority over the well-being of the ordinary citizens, Euronews reported on Monday.

Beyond the political intricacies of Israel and Gaza, Incir fears one of the region's key figures, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, might be interested in benefiting from the crisis.

Incir remarks come after Israeli requested the EU to support its actions during the conflict.

Walid Abu-Haya, deputy head of Israel's mission to the EU, has asked foreign ministers of the EU to denounce Hamas when they meet on Tuesday for an extraordinary meeting to discuss the conflict.

"The current violence, escalation of violence is mainly a conflict between Hamas and between Israeli authorities, with Netanyahu leading it, and they get support from different places," Incir told Euronews.

"If we look at who are the winners in this conflict, there are two sides: Netanyahu and Hamas. But the losers are so many more: it is the people, the people in Palestine, the people living in Israel."

Seeing the potential role of the Turkish president in escalating the crisis, Incir says: "Turkey, with Erdogan as the head of state, has, of course, interests in Israel and Palestine, but it also interests in the region at large. And Erdogan hasn't lost his dream of leading a new modern type of Ottoman Empire. He has shown it in other conflicts. He's in Libya. He's been Nagorno-Karabakh and many other places," the lawmaker says.

"Unfortunately, what is guiding Erdogan is not the solution to the current situation, but rather his own interest to take leadership in the whole Middle East."

Incir believes the political situation inside Israel is playing a role in the new escalation of violence. After four inconclusive parliamentary elections in a row, the country still doesn't have a new government and a fifth poll looks increasingly likely.

Netanyahu recently failed to form a coalition, leading the Israeli president to ask Yasir Lapid, the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, to give it a try. If Lapid succeeds, he will put an end to Netanyahu's premiership, the longest ever in the history of Israel.

"Netanyahu has long time shown that he's not interested in a two-state solution, he's not interested in peace, and therefore the daily annexation, the expansion of the settlements has been going on for long," Incir says.

"But the latest escalation of violence, where also Netanyahu has been contributing to it, is showing that he has an interest in not solving the current situation immediately because of political electoral reasons in the middle of the formation of governments in Israel. And settlers play a key role for Netanyahu and him being able to continue."


May 18, 2021
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