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Turkey’s Erdogan welcomes Hamas accepting ceasefire, hopes Israel will do the same

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he welcomed the decision by militant group Hamas to accept a ceasefire in Gaza, which he said was made in line with Ankara’s suggestion, adding he hopes Israel would do the same.

Turkey has denounced Israel’s assault on Gaza, called for an immediate ceasefire, halted all trade with Israel, and announced its decision to join South Africa’s application for Israel to be tried for genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Erdogan called on Western countries to increase pressure on Israel’s leadership to accept the ceasefire. Ankara has repeatedly complained of what it calls the unconditional support given to Israel by the West, particularly the United States.

“We welcome the statement by Hamas that they accepted the ceasefire with our suggestion. Now, Israel must take the same step,” he said.

Shortly after, Erdogan said on social media platform X that he had spoken by phone to Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh to discuss the militant group’s decision on the ceasefire and the ongoing efforts to end the fighting in Gaza.

“During the call, in which I stated that I found it positive for Hamas to take such a decision with Turkey’s suggestion, we emphasised that Israel must take a step for a lasting ceasefire too,” Erdogan said on X.

Erdogan hosted Haniyeh and a delegation from Hamas, which he has called a “liberation movement”, in Istanbul last month.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)