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Turkey’s Erdogan says Israel’s Netanyahu ‘will be tried as war criminal’
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Turkey’s Erdogan says Israel’s Netanyahu ‘will be tried as war criminal’

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan revealed on Monday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would eventually be attempted as a war criminal over Israel’s ongoing offensive in the Gaza Strip, while slamming Western nations helping Israel. Turkey, which helps a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict, has sharply criticised Israel over its campaign in Gaza, launched in reply to militant group Hamas’ rampage on Oct. 7.

More than 15,500 people have been murdered in the Israeli air and ground attacks, according to Gaza’s health ministry. In a speech to an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) committee meeting in Istanbul, Erdogan said the Western countries supporting Israel were giving it “much support to murder babies” and were complicit in its crimes. “Beyond being a war criminal, Netanyahu, who is the butcher of Gaza right now, will be attempted as the butcher of Gaza, just as Milosevic was attempted,” Erdogan said, in reference to Yugoslav ex-President Slobodan Milosevic who was attempted for genocide, crimes in opposition to humanity, and war crimes at a tribunal in The Hague.

“Those who make an attempt to skip over the deaths of all those pure hearted people by using the excuse of Hamas have nothing left to say to humanity,” he said, referring to Western powers, which he said were “blind and deaf”. Unlike most of its Western allies and some Gulf states, NATO member Turkey does not view Hamas as a terrorist group and hosts some of its members. Erdogan, whose ruling party has Islamist roots, said a contact group of Muslim nations, which was created by the OIC and Arab League last month to hold conversations on Gaza with Western nations and others, would go on to have  discussions until the fighting in Gaza stopped, but added more must be done.