The Turkish president has condemned the IDF for the staggering Palestinian death toll
Israel’s ongoing war in the Gaza Strip is comparable to the massacres committed by Nazi Germany during World War II, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. His scathing criticism comes as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are ramping up their ground assault against Hamas militants in the southern part of the densely populated Palestinian enclave.
“In front of the eyes of the whole world, Israel’s occupying forces brutally martyred 28,000 of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, most of them children and women,” Erdogan said during a speech at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s youth forum. The IDF’s strikes on schools, hospitals, mosques and other civilian sites are “attacks reminiscent of the Nazis,” he added.
A vocal critic of Israel, the Turkish leader has repeatedly compared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler and condemned the military operation in Gaza.
The bombing campaign and the subsequent ground invasion has displaced around 85% of Gaza’s population and left around 570,000 Palestinians facing starvation, according to the UN. Some 1.4 million of the besieged enclave’s pre-war population of 2.2 million have fled to the southern city of Rafah, near the border with Egypt, after Israel had called for civilians to evacuate to the south.
Israel declared war on Hamas in response to the October 7 terrorist attack, in which some 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 were taken hostage. Dozens of hostages have since been released as part of a prisoner swap during a weeklong ceasefire in November.
Netanyahu’s office announced on Friday that the IDF will strike into Rafah to eliminate Hamas’ “intense activity” in the city. The Israeli military and officials have said that they are doing all they can to minimize the civilian death toll. The Jewish state’s diplomats have accused Hamas of using schools, hospitals and other sites as a cover for their rocket attacks and have told the UN that the militants are using civilians as human shields.
Last month, the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the State of Israel must “take all measures within its power” to prevent a “genocide” in Gaza. Netanyahu rejected the ruling as “not only false, but outrageous.”