Tel Aviv [Israel]: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a recent speech to his ruling party, branded Israel as a ‘terrorist state’, CNN reported.
Erdogan said, ‘Israel is implementing a strategy of total annihilation of a city and its people. I say very clearly and frankly that Israel is a terrorist state.’
The Turkish President also vowed to take steps to ensure that Israel’s political and military leaders face trial in international courts for their actions in Gaza. ‘We will take steps to ensure that Israel’s political and military leaders who brutally murdered the oppressed people of Gaza will face trial in international courts,’ he said, according to CNN.
Responding to Erdogan’s remarks, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired back on social media platform X, accusing Erdogan of supporting the ‘terror state of Hamas.’
Netanyahu emphasised, ‘By contrast, there are forces that support the terrorists. One of them is President Erdogan of Turkey, who calls Israel a terrorist state, but supports the terror state of Hamas and bombed Turkish villages inside Turkey itself. So, we’re not going to get any lectures from them.’
Erdogan didn’t stop there, accusing Netanyahu of threatening Gaza with nuclear bombs. He warned, ‘I am telling Netanyahu, you have atomic bombs, nuclear bombs and you are threatening with them. We know this. And your end is near. You can have as many nuclear bombs as you want. No matter what you have, you are on your way out.’
Erdogan had cancelled a planned visit to Israel the previous month, asserting that Turkey has ‘no problem with the Israeli state; however, Ankara would never approve of Tel Aviv committing atrocities,’ according to CNN.
He also reiterated his stance that Western countries consider Hamas a terrorist organisation, asserting that ‘Hamas is not a terrorist organisation but a liberation group that struggles to protect its lands and citizens.’
Meanwhile, responding to a UN Security Council resolution adopted today that calls for ‘extended humanitarian pauses’ in Gaza, Israel’s Foreign Ministry demanded the body work to free the hostages held in the Strip, according to The Times of Israel.
In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that there is ‘no room for extended humanitarian pauses as long as 239 hostages are still in the hands of Hamas terrorists.’
The UNSC resolution did call for the immediate release of all the hostages.
A number of reports today indicated that there is a potential deal in the works to free a number of captives in exchange for a several-day pause in fighting, The Times of Israel reported.