The "Israeli" entity's 2016 reconciliation agreement with Turkey may have been a mistake, so-called Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Monday, as a war of words between the nation's leaders over the Gaza Strip became increasingly vitriolic.
"Looking back, maybe the accord should not have been approved," Erdan told Army Radio, calling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "an anti-Semite who continues to support Hamas."
He said the entity must stand up "to the hostility and anti-Semitism of Erdogan. It's odd for a country such as Turkey, that is massacring the Kurds and occupying northern Cyprus, to be accepted as a legitimate nation by the West."
Turkey invaded areas of northern Cypus in 1974 and later annexed the territory in a move not recognized by any other country.
In January this year, Turkey launched an air and ground offensive in the enclave of Afrin in Syria to root out the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). The UN has said that 170,000 people have fled Afrin in the wake of the Turkish offensive. Dozens of civilians have been killed.
Erdan noted that he had always had issues with the 2016 deal with Ankara that ended years of diplomatic crisis.
"I'm not fully comfortable with my vote, and I wasn't then either," he said. He explained that "there were many considerations for and against" and that he had considered opposing it, but was convinced otherwise by "Israeli" Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"Looking back, maybe the accord should not have been approved," he said. But he added that he was speaking with the benefit of hindsight, and that the "Israeli" entity "did not have the luxury of rejecting a compromise deal with one of the Middle East's greatest powers."
The 2016 reconciliation deal with Turkey saw the two countries restore ties soured by the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident six years earlier.
Relations between the former allies imploded in 2010 following an "Israeli" naval raid on a Turkish aid ship trying to breach the entity's blockade of the besieged Gaza Strip. The raid, in which "Israeli" Occupation Forces [IOF] commandos were attacked by activists on board, left 10 Turks dead and several "Israeli" soldiers wounded.
Erdan's comments echoed those of Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who in December called the accord a "diplomatic mistake" that had "failed." At the time Erdogan called the entity a "terrorist state" that "kills children" after US President Donald Trump's recognized al-Quds [Jerusalem] as the so-called "capital" of the "Israeli" entity.
Netanyahu stepped up a war of words with Erdogan Sunday, accusing him of committing crimes.
"Someone who occupies northern Cyprus, invades the Kurdish regions, and slaughters civilians in Afrin - should not preach to us about values and ethics," the hardline "Israeli" leader said.
Netanyahu was responding to Erdogan's strong criticism of an ongoing "Israeli" crackdown on a peaceful Palestinian rally near the Gaza fence which has left 17 people dead so far.
"Hey Netanyahu! You are an occupier. And it is as an occupier that you are on those lands. At the same time, you are a terrorist," Erdogan said in a televised speech in Adana, southern Turkey.
"What you do to the oppressed Palestinians will be part of history and we will never forget it," he added.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team