A “war of words” between Erdogan and Netanyahu over Gaza

Backdropped by a map of Israel and Palestine, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's Extraordinary Summit in Istanbul, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. The Istanbul gathering of heads of state and top officials from the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation could offer the Muslim world's strongest response yet to U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Kayhan Ozer/Pool Photo via AP)
GAZA STRIP (VOP TODAY NEWS) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the outbreak of violence on the borders of the Gaza Strip last Friday.

Sixteen Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces targeting thousands of Palestinian demonstrators in the border area with the Gaza Strip.

Erdogan called Netanyahu a “terrorist” after the latter objected to his “Turkish moral lecture” and accused Ankara of indiscriminately bombing civilians during its military operations outside the border.

“No one in the world will listen to a moral obligation to lecture ethics from a person who has indiscriminately shelled civilians for years,” Netanyahu said on his Twitter account.

In a comment on April Fool’s Day, Netanyahu wrote: “It is clear that they are celebrating this form on the first of April in Ankara.”

Netanyahu once described Erdogan as “the man who is bombing Kurdish farmers” in reference to the Turkish military campaign in the northern region of Afrin.

Erdogan described Israel’s conduct with last Friday’s demonstrations organized by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as a “non-humanitarian attack.”

“Netanyahu, you are the occupier, and the occupation of these lands is you, but at the same time you are also a terrorist,” Erdogan said in a televised address.

This comes as part of a campaign of international criticism of Israel’s violent response to recent Palestinian demonstrations.

The Palestinians organized mass demonstrations on the Gaza Strip border, in which thousands participated and preceded the 70th anniversary of the so-called “Nakba”.

In the meantime, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman refused to investigate the deaths of Palestinians during recent demonstrations, which was demanded by several international institutions, including the United Nations.

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) confirmed that five members of its armed wing (Qassam Brigades) among the dead, but Israel raises the number to 8.

The Palestinians will continue to demonstrate in the area for six weeks to demand the right of return of refugees and their children and grandchildren to the territories from which they were expelled during the Nakba.

But Lieberman rejected accusations that Israeli forces had tried to break up the demonstrations with excessive violence.

“The soldiers have done it, and I think they all deserve medals of honor,” Lieberman said.