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International Responses to Israel’s Assault on the Al-Shifa Hospital

Yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of being “a terrorist state” and of implementing a strategy to wipe out the population of Gaza, during a parliamentary address in which he vowed to bring Israel’s political and military leaders to trial in international courts. Asserting that Israel “receives the full backing of the U.S. and the West” in order to “commit war crimes,” Erdogan told the Turkish parliament that “the Israeli government has been continuously committing war crimes for the last 40 days, they are bombing hospitals, streets and mosques, and are aiming for all these places intentionally, implementing a strategy of total destruction of a city and its people.”

“I would like to speak very bluntly. Israel is a terrorist state,” Erdogan said, to raucous applause, reported the Times of Israel. “Two-thirds of the 12,000 people who have been murdered by Israel in Gaza are women and children,” he said. “Israel is carrying out the most heinous attack against women and children in all of history…. Even war has limits and boundaries and morality. The first rule of war is not to harm women, children, and medical patients,” he added, accusing Israel of intentionally leaving babies to die without food for them or fuel for the hospitals.

Not surprisingly, the Israelis did not react well to Erdogan’s accusations. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel won’t accept “preaching” from terror-supporting Erdogan. “He calls Israel a terror state, but in his actions he supports the terror state of Hamas,” says Netanyahu, in comments released by his office. “He himself shelled Turkish villages within the borders of Türkiye—we will not accept his preaching.”

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