Turkish President Recep Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at each other on Twitter on Wednesday.
The round of trading insults went down in the wake of violence on the Israeli-Gaza border on Monday, during which Israeli forces killed at least 60 Palestinian protesters, coinciding with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
The Turkish government loudly condemned the killings.
“Israel is wreaking state terror. Israel is a terror state,” Erdogan said in a speech for state television Monday. “What Israel has done is genocide. I condemn this humanitarian drama, the genocide, from whichever side it comes, Israel or US,” he added.
Responding to Erdogan’s remarks, Netanyahu lashed out at him on Twitter, saying, “Erdogan is among Hamas’s biggest supporters and there is no doubt that he well understands terrorism and slaughter. I suggest that he not preach morality to us.”
Erdogan is among Hamas’s biggest supporters and there is no doubt that he well understands terrorism and slaughter. I suggest that he not preach morality to us
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 15, 2018
Erdogan shot back at the tweet, saying, “Netanyahu is the prime minister of an apartheid state that has occupied the land of defenceless people for more than 60 years in violation of United Nations (UN) resolutions. He has the blood of Palestinians on his hands and cannot cover up the crimes by attacking Turkey. Want a lesson in humanity? Read the 10 commandments.”
Netanyahu is the PM of an apartheid state that has occupied a defenseless people’s lands for 60+ yrs in violation of UN resolutions.
He has the blood of Palestinians on his hands and can’t cover up crimes by attacking Turkey.
Want a lesson in humanity? Read the 10 commandments.
— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RT_Erdogan) May 15, 2018
Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of Israel’s response to the Gaza protests and of the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, recalling its ambassadors from Tel Aviv and Washington and calling for an emergency meeting of Islamic nations on Friday.
The dispute appears to mark the worst diplomatic crisis between the two regional powers since Israeli marines stormed an aid ship to enforce a naval blockade of Gaza in 2010, killing 10 Turkish activists and prompting a downgrade in diplomatic ties that lasted until 2016.