Israel’s Netanyahu and Turkey’s Erdogan in war-of-words over Gaza

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Turkey’s president has entered a war-of-words with Israel’s prime minister over the massacre of at least 61 unarmed Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces on Monday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted on Tuesday that Binyamin Netanyahu led an “apartheid state” and had the blood of Palestinians on his hands.

“Netanyahu is the PM of an apartheid state that has occupied a defenceless people’s lands for 60+ yrs in violation of UN resolutions,” Erdogan said.

“He has the blood of Palestinians on his hands and can’t cover up crimes by attacking Turkey,” Erdogan added.

The tweet came in response to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lashing out earlier in the day at Erdogan’s criticism of the mass killings by Israel on the Gaza border.

“Erdogan is among Hamas’ biggest supporters and there is no doubt that he well understands terrorism and slaughter,” Netanyahu said.

“I suggest that he not preach morality to us,” he added.

Erdogan – a staunch supporter of the Palestinians – called Israel a “terror state”, and accused it of “genocide” on Monday.

Most of the 61 Palestinians killed on Monday were shot by Israeli snipers, Gaza’s health ministry has said.

The death toll include a baby who died from tear gas inhalation and a disabled man.

Turkey announced three days of national mourning and recalled its ambassadors to Israel and the US over the violence which took place on Monday, after Washington made the controversial decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city of Jerusalem.

Erdogan regards himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause and last year held a summit of Islamic countries to denounce US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

However Turkey also maintains full trade and diplomatic links with the Jewish state after a 2016 reconciliation deal ended a dispute over the deadly storming of a Turkish ship by Israeli commandos.

Turkey’s consul in Jerusalem was also ordered closed by Israel on Tuesday.





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