MHP leader warns Israel to stay away from Rafah City

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli has warned Israel not to attack Rafah City and stop its massacres against the Palestinian civilians in Gaza if it does not want to pay heavier costs in the future.

"Israel should stay away from Rafah. The fact that Egypt has urged Israel that it will suspend the peace agreement if it attacks Rafah means that Israel may pay heavier prices," Bahçeli said in his weekly address to his parliamentary group on Feb. 20.

"Israel must give an end to its massacres," he stressed.

The MHP is the closest ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Bahçeli said Israel's threats of attacking Rafah show its intentions to spread the conflict beyond Gaza. He called for a lasting ceasefire before Ramadan, a holy month for the Muslims, starts in March.

"Peace and calmness will just be a dream in the Middle East unless a sovereign Palestinian state on the basis of 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital is created," he said.

Bahçeli also elaborated Erdoğan's last week's trips to the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. "The visits by our president to the UAE and Egypt are historical. We assess that these visits were right and useful," he suggested, criticizing the opposition's characterization of Erdoğan's visits.

"The opposition chorus' reaction displays a miserable understanding that could not perceive the Turkish foreign policy," he said.

Bahçeli underlined the importance of improving ties between Türkiye and Egypt, saying that closer bilateral dialogue will strengthen both countries' strategic positions in the region.

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