Erdoğan slams Netanyahu, says Hamas resistance movement, not terrorist group

emAP Photo/em
AP Photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent a "reminder" to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, saying Hamas is a resistance movement, not a terrorist group.

In a tweet, the president said Palestinians are not terrorists and Hamas is only defending the Palestinian homeland against Israel as an occupying power.

Earlier in the day, Erdoğan had called Netanyahu "the PM of an apartheid state that has occupied a defenseless people's lands for 60 more years in violation of U.N. resolutions.

"He has the blood of Palestinians on his hands and can't cover up crimes by attacking Turkey," Erdoğan said in an English-language Twitter post in response to earlier remarks made by Netanyahu.

"Want a lesson in humanity? Read the 10 commandments."

Early Tuesday, Netanyahu had tweeted: "Erdoğan is one of the biggest supporters of Hamas, so there's no doubt he's an expert on terror and slaughter."

Erdoğan called Israel a "terror state" and accused it of "genocide" on Monday after the killings of 62 Palestinians in protests along the Gaza border against the opening of U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.Trump sparked international outcry last December when he unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and vowed to relocate Washington's embassy to the city.

The embassy relocation coincides with the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment in 1948 -- an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or the "The Catastrophe".

Thousands of Palestinians had gathered on Gaza Strip's eastern border early Monday morning to take part in protests aimed to commemorate the Nakba anniversary and protest relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Most of the Palestinians killed on Monday were shot by Israeli snipers, Gaza's health ministry has said, and included a 8-month-old baby who died from tear gas inhalation along with eight children under the age of 16.

Following Israel's deadly violence toward Palestinians, Turkey recalled its ambassadors in Israel and the U.S. for consultations, and declared three days of national mourning. South Africa also recalled its ambassador.

Since the border rallies began on March 30, more than 100 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

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