Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Israel Hits Back at Turkey as Tensions Soar, Foreign Minister Says Erdogan is a ‘Radical Islamic Extremist’

Israel Hits Back at Turkey as Tensions Soar, Foreign Minister Says Erdogan is a ‘Radical Islamic Extremist’

The fact that attacking Israel is a major, central feature in all of Erdogan’s speeches during his tours of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia speaks volumes in terms of why this man is as popular as he is …

By Abraham Rabinovich – “REPLYING for the first time to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s almost daily tongue lashings of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday termed Mr Erdogan’s latest accusation – that Israel has killed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians — ‘outrageous’.

Israel’s outspoken Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, waded into the fray by declaring that Mr Erdogan’s administration was ‘a radical Islamic extremist leadership that supports and develops terror’.

Mr Erdogan’s attacks on Israel, which have included warnings of naval confrontations, ostensibly stem from Mr Netanyahu’s refusal to apologise for the killing of nine Turkish militants aboard an aid flotilla that attempted last year to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Mr Netanyahu expressed sorrow for their deaths but declined to apologise for the use of force by Israeli naval commandos against men who attacked them with knives and metal staves as they descended from a helicopter.

He also rejected Mr Erdogan’s demand for a lifting of the blockade, which is intended to prevent rockets reaching Gaza by sea.

The Turkish leader began venting his fury after a UN committee, headed by former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer, issued a report a month ago finding that, contrary to Turkey’s position, the Israeli blockade was legal, as was its boarding of the flotilla on the high seas. It faulted Israel for using excessive force, but acknowledged that the commandos who boarded the vessels were obliged to use force when attacked by the militants.

The Turkish leader ordered the termination of extensive defence contracts and other dealings with Israeli firms and recalled his ambassador to Tel Aviv. He also threatened to send warships to dispute Israeli claims to gas-rich underwater tracts in the eastern Mediterranean. No less ominous were his warning to send warships to protect Turkish aid vessels running Israel’s blockade of Gaza, an almost certain scenario for war, at least at sea.

In a tour of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, his attacks on Israel were a central feature of all his talks.” Read more.

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