“Someone who occupies northern Cyprus, invades the Kurdish regions, and slaughters civilians in Afrin should not preach to us about values and ethics,” PM Netanyahu Tweeted in response to being called a “terrorist” by Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan.
Netanyahu also called Erdogan’s condemning of IDF action taken against Hamas organized rioters at the Gaza fence, “An April Fools joke”
Netanyahu is referring to a cross border military operation against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin, an operation which Turkey began on January 20th and has come under widespread international criticism.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 289 civilians have been killed since Erdogan began this military operation. Other estimates put that number as high as 510, amid allegations of indiscriminate Turkish artillery fire. There have also been reports of Turkish border guards shooting refugees fleeing the fighting and seeking shelter inside Turkey.
Turkey considers The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) an enemy, but they are seen by the United States as a key player in the fight against Islamic State jihadists. The UN has said that 170,000 people have fled Afrin in the wake of the Turkish offensive, Times Of Israel reported
The hostility between the two leaders culminated on Sunday when Erdogan accused Netanyahu of being a terrorist in a televised speech, i24 News reported.
“Hey Netanyahu! You are an occupier. And it is as an occupier that are you are on those lands. At the same time, you are a terrorist,” Erdogan said.
Netanyahu responded by calling the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) “the most moral army in the world. We will not be lectured to on morality from someone who for years has been bombing civilians indiscriminately,” Netanyahu tweeted in response to Erdogan.
“Apparently this is how Ankara marks April 1,” he said, a reference to pranksters’ observance of the date as “April Fool’s”. Netanyahu has previously labelled Erdogan as someone who “bombs Kurdish villagers”, i24 reported.
“I strongly condemn the Israeli government over its inhumane attack,” Erdogan said initially on Saturday in Turkey, after IDF response to Hamas organized riots Friday at the Gaza fence resulted in 16 Palestinian deaths. Ten of the protesters who died in the violent protests were known members of Palestinian terrorist groups, i24 reported.