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Erdogan calls Israel premier 'occupier' and 'terrorist'

April 1, 2018 at 3:29 pm

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech in Ankara, Turkey on 8 February 2018 [Kayhan Özer/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey’s president on Sunday criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his remarks targeting Turkey’s ongoing anti-terror operation in Afrin, Syria.

“He says our soldiers are oppressing people in Afrin. Netanyahu, you are very weak, very poor,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“We are dealing with terrorists, but you are not. Because you are a terror state,” Erdogan told the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Congress in the southern Adana province.

Erdogan’s remarks came after at least 16 Gazans were martyred and hundreds injured on Friday when Israeli forces opened fire on protesters marking “Land Day.”

Land Day is an annual Palestinian commemoration of the deaths of six Arab citizens of Israel killed by Israeli forces in 1976 during demonstrations over government land confiscations in northern Israel.

Calling the Israeli leader “an occupier” in Palestine, Erdogan said Netanyahu has no right to criticize Turkey.

“You are also a terrorist. History is recording what you have done to all those oppressed Palestinians,” Erdogan said, adding that he believes Israelis too are disturbed by Netanyahu’s misdeeds.

Friday’s rallies were the start of a six-week protest that culminates on 15 May, the day the Palestinians call “Nakba,” or the Catastrophe, when Israel was founded.

The demonstrators are demanding that Palestinian refugees be allowed the right of return to towns and villages which their families fled from, or were driven out of when the state of Israel was created in 1948.