Erdoğan vows to pursue Gaza peace despite truce setback

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has affirmed Türkiye's commitment to pursuing peace in the wake of the failed extension of the temporary ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

"Unfortunately, we have lost the opportunity for peace for now due to Israel's intransigent approach. But... let's not lose hope. We will not give up the pursuit of peace," Erdoğan told a group of journalists on Dec. 2 on board his return flight from the COP28 climate talks in Dubai.

Despite the setback, Erdoğan highlighted ongoing diplomatic efforts, including his personal contacts with world leaders and Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan's talks within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

"We have brought our interlocutors to a point not to discuss Gaza in an environment where there is no two-state solution. As a result of our joint pressure, we have seen that some European countries have both understood our position and started to embrace the theses we are defending," Erdoğan stated.

The president also revealed that nearly 3,000 lawyers, including Cüneyt Yüksel, a deputy for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), had filed an application with the International Court of Justice in The Hague to have the Israeli government declared a war criminal.

"Our expectation is that these genocidaires, these butchers of Gaza who were caught red-handed, especially [Israeli PM Benjamin] Netanyahu, will receive the necessary punishment... We will follow this case at the highest level. We will not forget this genocide, and we will not let it be forgotten," he declared.

Responding to criticism over his stance on Hamas, Erdoğan defended the group's legitimacy as a political party in Palestine. He argued, "First of all, Hamas is a...

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