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ISTANBUL — Turkey’s prime minister has compared Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to the terrorists who carried out attacks last week in Paris, saying both had committed crimes against humanity.
Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference Thursday that Israel's bombardment of Gaza and its storming in 2010 of a Turkish-led aid convoy to the Gaza Strip, in which 10 Turks were killed, were on a par with the Islamist attacks in France, whose dead included shoppers at a Jewish supermarket.
The comments added to a war of words between the former allies: Israel's far-right foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called President Tayyip Erdogan an "anti-Semitic bully" Wednesday for criticizing Netanyahu's attendance, with other world leaders, at a solidarity march in Paris on Sunday.
Turkish leaders have condemned the attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, in which Islamist gunmen killed 12 people, but have also warned that rising Islamophobia in Europe risks inflaming unrest.
Davutoglu also attended the Paris rally, which he said was a march against terrorism.
"Just as the massacre in Paris committed by terrorists is a crime against humanity, Netanyahu, as the head of the government that kills children playing on the beach with the bombardment of Gaza, destroys thousands of homes ... and that massacred our citizens on an aid ship in international waters, has committed crimes against humanity," Davutoglu said.
The assault on the aid convoy ruptured ties between Turkey and Israel, which previously enjoyed close diplomatic and military relations.
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