Tel Aviv, Jan.6 (ANI): Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's toxic comments Sunday that Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip would lead to punishment from Allah and Israel's "self-destruction" has drawn a strong protest from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which told Turkey's ambassador to Israel that these words were "unacceptable" among friendly nations.
Erdogan, speaking at a municipal election campaign rally in Anatolia, said Israel was "perpetrating inhuman actions which would bring it to self-destruction. Allah will sooner or later punish those who transgress the rights of innocents."The Foreign Ministry, however, did not issue a formal statement about the remarks - not wanting, according to diplomatic officials, to exacerbate the already tense situation with the Turks, reports The Jerusalem Post.
Sunday's comments by Erdogan were by far the most caustic.
One diplomatic official said that Erdogan's reference to Allah and punishment in his harsh comment on Israel reflected the prime minister's very strong Islamic roots.
The official added, however, that Erdogan's words needed to be seen through the prism of a Turkish public opinion that has lined up squarely against the IDF operation
Diplomatic officials said that when Operation Cast Lead was over, it would be necessary to evaluate the damage to the relationship that these comments have caused.
At the end of the day, they added, what would dictate whether the strategic relationship would remain strong would be the real politik interests of both sides, and not overheated rhetoric. In Ankara, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said his country favored a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas ensured by international monitors, adding that Turkey was willing to contribute to such a mission.
Israel, however, has been cool to the idea of international monitors in Gaza, saying that when Hamas fires rockets on Israel, it is not necessary to have monitors record that the rockets were fired - everybody will know about it.(ANI)