ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a scathing attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, branding him “the butcher of Gaza” and accusing him of fueling anti-Semitism worldwide.
In a nationally televised address before members of his ruling political party in parliament, Erdogan reiterated his condemnation of Israel’s actions, labeling the country as a “terrorist state” and characterizing Hamas as a “liberation group.” The Turkish President specifically targeted Netanyahu, stating, “Netanyahu has already written his name in history as the butcher of Gaza.”
Erdogan went further, asserting that Netanyahu’s actions were endangering the security of Jews globally by allegedly supporting anti-Semitism through the Gaza operations.
The Gaza conflict prompted both Turkey and Israel to recall their diplomatic staff as a security precaution, with Turkey also withdrawing its envoy from Tel Aviv in protest against Israel’s approach.
Extensive Talks to Extend Gaza Truce
As mediators work towards extending the Israel-Hamas truce, Erdogan accused Netanyahu’s government of complicating these efforts by discussing plans to eradicate Hamas. Erdogan expressed skepticism about the truce evolving into a lasting ceasefire, stating, “Statements made by the Netanyahu administration diminish our hopes for the humanitarian pause to be transformed into a lasting ceasefire.”
The truce agreement, in effect since last week, has facilitated the release of 60 Israeli hostages and 180 Palestinian prisoners. Gaza government officials claim that Israel’s relentless air and ground attacks in Gaza has led to the death of nearly 15,000 Palestinian people, mainly women and children, and substantial destruction in the northern part of the territory.