Netanyahu says Turkey in no position to lecture ‘world’s most moral army’ over violent Gaza clashes
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Turkey is in no position to lecture the IDF on its conduct during violent clashes in Gaza. He said Israel had “the most moral army” and dismissed Ankara’s criticism as an April Fool’s Day joke.
“The most moral army in the world will not be lectured by those who have indiscriminately bombed civilian populations for years,” Netanyahu’s office said in a tweet, ironically adding that “apparently this is how April Fool’s Day is celebrated in Ankara.”
The prime minister’s intervention on social media comes after Ankara blasted the use of lethal weapons by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in violent clashes that erupted in the Gaza Strip earlier this week.
The IDF deployed live ammunition as well as rubber bullets and tear gas against Palestinian protesters, who were taking part in a march to mark Land Day – a show of opposition against Israeli settlements in the region. A total of 17 people were killed during the unrest, and over 1,400 people were injured – roughly half of them by live fire and many others by tear gas and rubber bullets, according to initial figures provided by the Gaza Health Ministry.
The suppression of the largely unarmed protests attracted the ire of Turkey. On Friday, Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, condemned the IDF’s use of force against protesters in the strongest terms.