Turkey slams Israel over hotel demolition
Ankara - Turkey on Tuesday strongly condemned Israel's demolition of a historic hotel in east Jerusalem, to make way for new settler homes, slamming it as a "serious blow" to peace efforts.
The move shows Israel's "disregard" of international calls to stop expanding Jewish settlements and "deals a serious blow on efforts to establish an atmosphere of confidence" with the Palestinians, a foreign ministry statement said.
Israel's action "further deepens existing suspicions over its commitment to peace", it said, calling on the international community "to fulfil its responsibilities in the face of such provocative acts by Israel".
Bulldozers on Sunday began demolishing the Shepherd Hotel in occupied east Jerusalem to make room for 20 luxury apartments for Jewish settlers.
The move triggered widespread international criticism, but Israel insists the move is legal.
Palestinian leaders have rejected direct talks with Israel since a freeze on settlement building in the occupied territories was halted in late September.
Turkey's once-close ties with Israel plunged into a deep crisis on May 31 when Israeli forces killed nine Turks in a raid on an activist ship carrying aid to the Gaza Strip.