Turkish President Erdogan, Pope Francis discuss Israel-Palestine conflict in phone call 

All states should raise their voices against humanitarian tragedy in Gaza, Erdogan tells pontiff in phone conversation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pope Francis on Thursday spoke over the phone on the conflict between Israel and Palestine and escalating human rights violations.

Erdogan, according to Türkiye’s Communications Directorate, said Israel’s attacks on Gaza, which have no justification in any sacred text, have reached the level of a massacre, and that it is shameful for the international community to turn a blind eye to them.

He stressed that all states should raise their voices against this humanitarian tragedy.

In the region that houses holy sites of the three Abrahamic religions – including Francis’ faith – lasting peace can only be achieved through the establishment of an independent, sovereign, and geographically contiguous Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem based on the 1967 borders, Erdogan told the pope.

He further highlighted Türkiye’s significant efforts to deliver humanitarian and medical aid to Gaza and called on everyone to actively support these efforts to ensure uninterrupted delivery of aid to innocent civilians.

The conflict in Gaza began on Oct. 7 when the Palestinian group Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood – a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea, and air.

Hamas said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched a relentless bombardment of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

More than 7,900 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 6,546 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis.

Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been running out of food, water, medicine, and fuel, and aid convoys recently allowed into Gaza have carried only a fraction of what is needed.