Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, on Sunday, April 1, lashed out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the latter's remarks against Ankara's military operation in Afrin in northwestern Syria.
The two strong leaders of West Asia found themselves in a war of words after Netanyahu spoke about Turkey's "moral lessons" over the killing of Palestinian protesters by the Israeli troops in Gaza and calling Erdogan as one who uses bombs against the Kurdish villagers.
Erdogan, in his response, described Netanyahu as "weak, very poor" for accusing Turkey of oppression against the people of Afrin. The president said this while addressing a congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) in Adana province in southern Turkey.
Israel a terror state: Erdogan
Erdogan also said that while Turkey was dealing with terrorists, Netanyahu was leading a "terror state". He called the Israeli PM "an occupier" in Palestine and a "terrorist" defended Turkey saying it never indulged in any such act of occupation.
The Erdogan-Netanyahu verbal exchange came in the wake of killing of 17 Palestinians by the Israeli forces on 'Land Day' protest near the eastern border of the Gaza Strip. More than 1,500 people were injured in the ghastly act which took place on Friday, March 30. Several thousands of Palestinian protesters kicked off a six-week protest starting Land Day and it was met with a strong response from the very beginning.
The protest is scheduled to conclude on May 15, the day Palestinians term as "Nakba" to remember with pain the birth of the state of Israel 70 years ago. Over 7,50,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes to make way for the Israeli state.