16 April 2014, Wednesday
Today's Zaman

Palestine asks Turkey and Egypt to send troops to Gaza

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20 November 2012, Tuesday / SINEM CENGIZ
Turkey and Egypt, two heavyweights in the Middle East, should send troops to monitor a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip that is likely to happen in the near future, a top Palestinian envoy in Ankara has said.

Palestinian Ambassador to Turkey Nabil Maarouf told Today's Zaman on Tuesday that in order to maintain a possible cease-fire in Gaza, which has been under Israeli attacks since Wednesday, Turkey and Egypt should send in troops immediately.

"The best solution for the future of Palestine would be the presence of Turkish and Egyptian forces in Gaza as they are two important and close countries in the region. Israel would never dare to attack Gaza in the presence of Turkish and Egyptian forces. This would help to ease the conditions. This is the solution," Maarouf said. The envoy underlined that the presence of these troops should definitely be under a UN umbrella.

“We do not want any more statements coming from regional and global powers. We want immediate action that will save the lives of Palestinians on the ground. Turkey and Egypt should immediately send troops to Gaza and other Palestinian territories to save the lives of the Palestinian people. This is not an official request made by the Palestinian authority, rather it is my own personal request,” said the envoy.

Israel escalated its aerial campaign over the weekend, hitting civilian homes and areas, while Hamas responded by firing rockets into populated areas in Israeli cities. Egypt has unsuccessfully been trying to strike a deal between Hamas and Israel to halt attacks as both sides seem to be far from reconciling their demands.

However, diplomats believe that it would not be in Turkey's interest to take action in Gaza by sending in its troops.

“If Turkey and Egypt take action on their own by sending troops to Gaza, this may escalate the situation, and these two countries could be blamed for escalating the tension. In such an event, Turkey may go through a very difficult period. It would be against Turkey's benefit as well as long-term interests to take such a step without international support,” Nüzhet Kandemir, Turkey's former ambassador to Washington and a prominent foreign policy commentator, told Today's Zaman.

“Turkey should contribute in the form of a force that would maintain peace with international support,” said Kandemir, adding that it would be in Turkey's own interest to send troops within the framework of an international platform rather than sending a force in cooperation with another country, such as Egypt.

Agreeing with Kandemir, Özdem Sanberk, a former diplomat and foreign policy commentator who now heads the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization (USAK), told Today's Zaman that it would not be appropriate for Turkey to take action on its own by sending its troops to the Gaza Strip.

“If Turkey plans to send its troops to Gaza, this force should be sent within the framework of international support, which is the UN. Throughout history, Turkey has always sent its forces as part of the UN or NATO. When a force is sent with the approval of the UN, this force receives legitimacy from the international community,” said Sanberk.

Turkey contributed to peace keeping operations conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Sudan and Somalia's territorial waters.

According to Sanberk, Turkey should solve the conflict in Gaza through diplomatic means. The former envoy believes that interference by Turkish troops in the conflict in Gaza may drag Turkey into the conflict. “We don't have such a policy to take action on our own or, in other words, to send troops to a country. Turkey is a country that prefers to solve issues in the region through diplomacy rather than sending troops,” said Sanberk.

Israel's operation so far has drawn Western support for what US and European leaders have called its right to self-defense, but there was also a growing number of appeals from them to seek an end to the hostilities.

Sanberk also maintained that it was out of the question for Turkey to take action on its own as Turkey had never done it before. “This is against Turkey's diplomatic traditions, and I don't believe Turkey will take such a step alone,” said Sanberk.

Neo Con Do you know what have in incirlik base in Turkey. Thing little about it and see who can destroy the other under 9 minutes :)
Su Alti Taarruz
Turks should stay out of Arabs' problem. They created it, they keep making it worse, they have to suffer it until they learn their lesson.
vural korlmaz
Excellent idea, Turkey
I can understand why the Palestinian envoy in Ankara want the Turks, best Hamas supporting force, in Gaza but I shall be surprised if Egypt will allow Turkey force to be deployed in Gaza. Egypt knows that today were Turkey is involved problems are magnified.
Ben Yacob
This is a good idea provided that such a joint command have total control over security internal and external in Gaza, no Palestinian rockets and no Israeli attacks<
Jack Kalpakian
This is an excellent proposal for the benefit of humanity. I hope UN and Nato should accept and implement ASAP.
Civil Right Movement Australia
An easier way would be to stop shooting rockets at various civilian targets in Israel. Since last week Hamas has launched 857 rockets........
Whoever thought Israel is Cyprus is trying his luck and his own country's luck.Israel is a nuclear power.
not a good idea. if so turkish troops would die in fights against kurds and israel. with turkish women getting 1.8 kids per woman turkey can not stand a war or attrition. let alone salafist groups in gaza who would also start killing turkish troops because they are not "islamic" enough for salafist...
Yes if this plan came under Process then Israel so far from Gaza Boarder.
Are they jokeing Israel has the capacity to neutralize Egypt and turkey in under 9 minutes not in a million years wil a Islamic army ever challenging Israel bring it on Egypt will turn to glass,israel already has plans and the equipment to destroy Egypt army before it can even move come and get it,s...
Neo con
Turkey cannot even solve its own problems resulting from its suppression of their own Kurdish citizens, and Egypt is on the brink of bankruptcy and cannot even control the Sinai Peninsula, and now this genius suggests that they should also commit themselves to defend Hamas and the other terrorist or...
What stupidity is this? Do you honestly believe that Israel will allow foreign troops into Gaza, a situation that Hamas would certainly use to rain -down death on Israeli citizens. You people are incredible!
Lawrence of Arabia
What Turkish and Egyptian troops will be doing there? Not to be trusting them since they are supporting Hamas. If you are wanting monitors then it is better to get them from West countries like Canada and Holland and France. Soldiers from these countries will be making sure that Hamas does not attac...
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