UPDATE 2 – Turkish officials condemn Austria for hoisting Israeli flag

Turkey’s presidential spokesman on Friday criticized Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for hoisting the Israeli flag on the roof of the chancellery building in Vienna amid attacks on Palestine by the Jewish state.

“This is what encourages Israel to continue its attacks on Palestinian people,” Ibrahim Kalin said in a tweet. “I hope those Austrians and Europeans with a sense of reason and morality will reject these disgraceful politics.”

Kurz had tweeted a photo with a caption that read: “Today the Israeli flag was hoisted on the roof of the Federal Chancellery as a sign of solidarity with #Israel … Together we stand by Israel’s side.”

Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay reacted to Kurz’s recent attitude concerning the Israeli flag hoisted on the chancellery building.

“With this attitude, the Austrian chancellor has put his signature under Israel’s massacre in Gaza,” he said in a statement on Twitter.

Critical of Kurz’s stance about Israel, Oktay added that this attitude, “reinforcing the Islamophobia and fascism that are increasing in Europe, is a black stain recorded in the history of humanity.”

Omer Celik, the spokesman of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, also slammed Kurz and said: “This person (Kurz) is the symbol of Islamophobia, hostility towards Turks and (President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan in Europe.”

“It is only a dream to expect him to side with those oppressed. His siding with the oppressor is his political compass,” he added.

Tensions have been running high since an Israeli court ordered the eviction of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Palestinians protesting in solidarity with residents of the neighborhood were then targeted by Israeli forces.

The occupying forces also raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque during special night prayers in Ramadan.

The subsequent escalation of tensions resulted in airstrikes by Israel on Gaza that have killed at least 126 Palestinians, including 31 children and 20 women, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.

Source: Anadolu Agency