Turkey's deputy prime minister said Wednesday that Turkey has carried out over 70 projects in East Jerusalem and the West Bank since 2005.
Speaking at an event on Jerusalem at the headquarters of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in the capital Ankara, Hakan Cavusoglu said that TIKA -- the state's development aid agency -- opened its Jerusalem office in 2005.
TIKA's 71 projects in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank include the restoration of the Dome of the Rock, also known as Qubbat al-Sakhrah, which is inside the Al-Aqsa mosque complex, the Al-Quds University 400-student female dormitory project, and restarting the Nabi Musa (Tomb of Moses) celebrations which were ended by Israel's 1967 invasion of East Jerusalem.
"This year, the Turkish Directorate General of Foundations managed to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid and food to Gaza. The handover of 320 houses that were built in Gaza was also completed last week," Cavusoglu said.
He added that during the 15 years of Justice and Development (AK) Party rule, Turkey's Abroad Turks and Relative Communities Presidency (YTB) has supported 89,000 Palestinians studying in Turkey.
Cavusoglu said that Jerusalem will not be saved by tears alone but when humanity assumes its responsibilities.
"If Israel doesn't withdraw from the territories that it invaded and return to the pre-1967 borders, there will be no peace and stability in the world," he added, criticizing the U.S. move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the Jerusalem decision, despite widespread international opposition, including Turkey, the EU, and UN.
Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Israel first occupied the Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state -- a move never recognized by the international community.
International law continues to view the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity on the land as illegal.
Source: Anadolu Agency