Erdogan calls Netanyahu a ‘terrorist’ in wake of Gaza deaths

Erdogan calls Netanyahu a ‘terrorist’ in wake of Gaza deaths
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched a blistering attack on Benjamin Netanyahu, calling Israel “a terrorist state” and its PM “a terrorist,” following the deadly shooting of protesters in Gaza.

Erdogan made the comments at his party’s congress in southern Turkey. Addressing the event, the president slammed Netanyahu’s criticism of Turkey’s military operation in Syria. “You [Netanyahu] are an invader and right now are present in those lands as an invader. At the same time, you are a terrorist,” Erdogan said.

“You are a terrorist state. It is known what you have done in Gaza and what you have done in Jerusalem. You have no one that likes you in the world,” he added.

Erdogan’s remarks are just the latest in a rapidly escalating war of words between the two nations. Earlier this week, Netanyahu suggested that Erdogan was playing an April Fool’s Day prank when his spokesman described Friday’s killing of protesters in Gaza as “inhumane.”

More than 1,400 people were injured and 17 were killed when the Israeli military opened fire on Palestinian protesters on the border between Gaza and Israel Friday. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also used rubber bullets and tear gas on the demonstrators.

Writing on Twitter, Netanyahu described Israeli forces as “the most moral army in the world” and accused the Turkish military of bombing civilians. “The most moral army in the world will not be lectured by those who have indiscriminately bombed civilian populations for years,” Netanyahu said. “Apparently this is how April Fool’s Day is celebrated in Ankara.”

READ MORE: Netanyahu says Turkey in no position to lecture ‘world’s most moral army’ over violent Gaza clashes

Netanyahu’s tweet came in response to Ankara’s criticism of the IDF’s use of lethal force on the Gaza protesters which it described as a “disproportionate.” In a statement following the clashes it demanded that Tel Aviv “immediately stop resorting to force, which further exacerbates the tension in the region.”

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