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'Trojans who belong in Gaza': Israeli minister slams Arab MKs visiting Turkey

Miri Regev's remarks come after Turkish president told visiting delegation that Ankara will not 'turn its back' on Palestinian cause
"Their place is in Gaza and not in Jerusalem," Regev said of the visiting delegation (AFP)

Israel's culture and sport minister has slammed a delegation of Arab members of the Knesset and representatives from the United Arab List and Ta'al for meeting with Turkey's president in Istanbul.

Among the representatives attending were Ahmad Tibi and Talab Abu Arar who had recited the Muslim call to prayer in the Knesset in protest against a bill to limit the call across the country.

"Their place is in Gaza and not in Jerusalem," Miri Regev said of the group, according to Israel's Hadashot News. 

"Time and time again, Tibi and his group insist on proving to everyone that they are not really worthy of being members of the Israeli Knesset, they are Trojans who seek the evil of the State of Israel," Regev said.

'Baseless rhetoric'

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who received the representatives in a closed-door meeting lasting roughly 90 minutes at the Tarabya Presidential Campus in Istanbul on Saturday, told the visiting delegation that Ankara will not "turn its back" on the Palestinian cause or people.

Erdogan also said Turkey would share "all means available" for ending the Israeli occupation and establishing peace.

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The president thanked the lawmakers for their service of representing the Palestinian will in the Knesset against Israel's "oppression" in Gaza as well as its "Jewish State" law and "baseless rhetoric" against Turkey.

Erdogan also encouraged the group to work in unity and solidarity, saying that the controversial law defining Israel as a Jewish state was in open disregard of Palestinian citizen's rights.

Saturday's meeting also dealt with the arrests and detention of three Palestinian citizens of Israel who arrived in Turkey for a kidney transplant. 

Under Turkish law, it is illegal to receive a kidney from a donor who is not immediate family. 

After the meeting, Erdogan agreed to release one of the three who was arrested and to drop the charges against the other two who were detained. 

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