(MENAFN) In a fiery address to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Western inaction and predicted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would eventually face war crimes charges in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Israel's offensive in Gaza. Erdogan accused Netanyahu of being the "butcher of Gaza" and drew parallels with the trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, stating that the Israeli leader would be tried similarly for his role in the ongoing conflict.
Erdogan highlighted the devastating toll of the conflict, citing over 15,800 casualties, predominantly women and children, in Israeli air and ground attacks in Gaza. The Turkish president pointed to Netanyahu's vow to "eliminate Hamas" in response to a cross-border attack by the Palestinian militant group on October 7, which resulted in about 1,200 deaths and the seizure of 240 hostages.
While a brief truce had been in place to facilitate international aid deployment and the exchange of hostages between the two sides, Erdogan noted that Israel had resumed military actions as the accord ended on Friday. He expressed his expectation that Netanyahu would face a war crimes tribunal in The Hague for his actions in Gaza.
Erdogan criticized those who, in his view, attempted to downplay the civilian casualties by attributing them to the presence of Hamas, stating that such justifications had nothing left to offer to humanity. Furthermore, he rebuked Israel's supporters in the West, accusing them of being "blind and deaf" to the events unfolding in Gaza.
As tensions persist in the region, Erdogan's strong words underscore the deep-seated animosity between Turkey and Israel, raising concerns about the international response to the ongoing conflict and its potential ramifications for diplomatic relations in the Middle East.
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