Turkey's president Erdogan declares Israel a terrorist state

Turkey's president Erdogan declares Israel a terrorist state

November 15, 2023

Turkey’s president Erdogan declares Israel a terrorist state committing war crimes but says Hamas are NOT terrorists but ‘a political party elected by Palestinians’

  • Erdogan said Turkey will work to ensure Israel’s leaders recognised as terrorists

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan today said Israel was a ‘terror state’ committing war crimes and violating international law in Gaza, while repeating his view that Hamas gunmen are not terrorists but a ‘political party elected by Palestinians’. 

In a fiery speech to members of his party, Erdogan said Turkey would work to ensure that Israel’s political and military leaders are recognised as ‘terrorists’ and brought to trial in international courts. 

A ranting Erdogan said Israel was a ‘terrorists state’ intent on destroying Gaza along with the thousands of people who live in the besieged territory. 

In contrast the Turkish leader described Hamas gunmen, who rampaged through southern Israel and slaughtered 1,200 Israelis on October 7, as ‘resistance fighters’ trying to protect their lands and people. 

He said Hamas was a political party that had been elected by Palestinians, while failing to mention there hasn’t been an election in Gaza since 2006 when Hamas beat Fatah, a secular movement. Since then, Hamas has essentially seized control and imposed authoritarian rule over the territory. 

Speaking to lawmakers in parliament, Erdogan also called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to announce whether Israel had nuclear bombs or not, and added that the Israeli premier was a ‘goner’ from his post.

Relations between NATO member Turkey and Tel Aviv have rapidly soured amid Israel’s relentless bombardment of the Gaza Strip, where the Hamas-run health authorities say over 11,000 people have now been killed since October 7. 

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan today said Israel was a ‘terror state’ committing war crimes and violating international law in Gaza , while repeating his view that Hamas gunmen are not terrorists but a ‘political party elected by Palestinians’

Palestinian children, injured in Israeli attacks on the city of Jabalia, Gaza are seen at Indonesia Hospital where they were brought for treatment on Wednesday 

A Palestinian woman covered in dust rushes with her child in her arms into the hospital following the Israeli bombardment of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday 

But today, Erdogan increased his criticism of Israel as the IDF continued its bombardment of the Gaza Strip and stormed Gaza City’s main hospital where thousands remain trapped. 

‘Israel is implementing a strategy of total destruction of a city and its people,’ Erdogan said. ‘I say openly that Israel is a terrorist state.’ 

More than 11,000 people have been killed in Gaza amid withering Israeli airstrikes in retaliation for Hamas’s massacre of 1,200 civilians in southern Israel. The IDF have accused Hamas of using civilians as ‘human shields’ as they hide in tunnels underneath hospitals and homes. 

Erdogan’s withering criticism was followed by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez who today urged Israel to end the ‘indiscriminate killing of Palestinians’ in Gaza, in his sharpest criticism of Israel since since war against Hamas broke out over a month ago.

The Socialist premier reiterated he ‘stood with Israel’ in ‘its response to the terrorist attack’ carried out by Hamas in October, and promised his new government would ‘work in Europe and in Spain to recognise the Palestinian state’.

Meanwhile, Erdogan’s speech will further inflame tensions with Israel, after he declared last month: ‘Hamas is not a terrorist organisation, it is a liberation group, ‘mujahideen’ waging a battle to protect its lands and people’ – comments which sparked outrage among Israelis.’

He has also accused the West of ignoring ‘international law in Gaza because the ‘blood being spilled is Muslim blood’.

Erdogan asked last month what more needs to happen for the West to call for a ceasefire, noting that Western countries are providing unconditional support for Israeli attacks instead of calling for restraint.

He said at the time that Israel’s attack on Gaza had ‘reached the level of a massacre’ and added that ‘the international community’s silence about what is happening is a shame for humanity’.

Erdogan’s latest fiery speech comes after it emerged Israeli troops had stormed Gaza City’s main hospital this morning to root out the Hamas terrorists they say are hiding beneath the medical facility in an underground command centre.

Turkish President and the leader of the Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends his party’s group meeting at the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara on Wednesday

Palestinians wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip are brought to a hospital in Deir al-Balah on Wednesday

Palestinians look at destruction after Israeli strikes on Rafah, Gaza Strip, on Wednesday 

A mobile artillery unit fires on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas on Thursday 

An Israeli tank passes by camels near a fence during the Israeli military bombardment of the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday 

Dozens of Israeli soldiers, some wearing face masks and firing guns in the air, entered the sprawling Al-Shifa hospital early Wednesday morning in a ‘precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area’ of the facility, the IDF said, in what could be a pivotal moment in the bloody war.

‘All men 16 years and above, raise your hands,’ a soldier shouted in accented Arabic through a loudspeaker to the thousands sheltering inside. ‘Exit the building towards the courtyard and surrender,’ the soldier ordered, according to a journalist trapped inside.

About 1,000 male Palestinians, their hands above their heads, were soon led into the vast hospital courtyard, some of them stripped naked by Israeli soldiers checking them for weapons or explosives, the journalist told AFP.

Israeli soldiers and tanks had surrounded the hospital in recent days, where the IDF and US have insisted Hamas are hiding in underground tunnels beneath the building and using the patients as human shields – claims the terrorists deny. 

But the storming of the hospital is a key moment in the war and will show once and for all whether Hamas terrorists have indeed based their secret headquarters underneath the hospital while using the most vulnerable civilians as human shields.

The move to enter the sprawling hospital by Israeli forces could see civilians, patients and doctors in the middle of the fierce battles, prompting the UN to say it was ‘appalled’ by Israel’s decision to raid the medical facility. 

‘I’m appalled by reports of military raids in Al Shifa hospital in Gaza,’ UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said on X, formerly Twitter. ‘The protection of newborns, patients, medical staff and all civilians must override all other concerns.’

Griffiths stressed in a separate video statement that he understood Israel wanted to find Hamas leaders, but insisted that was no excuse for turning hospitals into a battlefield.

‘Hamas must not, should not, use a place like a hospital as a shield for their presence,’ he said.

Israeli soldiers with rifles storm the Al Shifa hospital and are pictured here within the complex on Wednesday 

This handout picture released by the Israeli army on Thursday shows soldiers during a military operation around at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City involving tanks 

An injured Palestinian man looks at an injured child lying on a gurney at the hospital following the Israeli bombardment of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday 

: Injured Palestinian people sit in front of a destroyed building, belonging to Abu Jazar family, following the Israeli attacks in Rafah, Gaza, on Wednesday

He continued: ‘That is as strong a statement under humanitarian law, as is the statement that the hospitals should not become a war zone.

‘I understand the Israelis’ concern for trying to find the leadership of Hamas. That’s not our problem. Our problem is protecting the people of Gaza from what’s being visited upon them.’

Griffiths said his agency’s main concern was ‘for the welfare of the patients of that hospital, which is, of course, in great peril at the moment’.

‘We have no fuel to run it. The babies have no incubators, newly born. Some are dead already. We can’t move them out. It’s too dangerous,’ he said.

‘Our concern is for the patients of a hospital that doesn’t function.’

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus agreed, saying ‘reports of military incursion into Al-Shifa hospital are deeply concerning.’

He warned that the UN health agency had ‘lost touch again with health personnel at the hospital’. ‘We’re extremely worried for their and their patients’ safety,’ he said. 

The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that it was ‘extremely concerned about the impact on sick and wounded people, medical staff, and civilians’.

‘All measures to avoid any consequences on them must be taken,’ it said, insisting that ‘patients, medical staff, and civilians must be at all times protected’.

The ICRC added that it was ‘in contact with all concerned authorities and we continue to closely monitor the situation’.

Israel vowed to crush Hamas after the terrorists launched unprecedented cross-border attacks that Israel says left 1,200 people dead with another 239 taken hostage.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says Israel’s ensuing air and ground offensive have killed 11,320 people, mostly civilians, including thousands of children.

Al-Shifa is a key target in Israel’s campaign.

The United Nations has said it estimates that at least 2,300 people – patients, staff and displaced civilians – are inside and may be unable to escape because of fierce fighting.

Witnesses have described horrific conditions inside the hospital, with medical procedures taking place without anaesthetic, families with scant food or water living in corridors and the stench of decomposing corpses filling the air.

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