Turkey's Erdogan calls Israel's Netanyahu 'terrorist'

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"Hey Netanyahu, you're an occupier", Erdogan said in a televised speech on Turkish TV. "We can see what this terrorist state is doing by looking at the situation in Gaza and Jerusalem", Erdogan said, adding that the Israeli military committed an act of "mass murder". "The US must play a more positive role in ending the Gaza blockade and helping Palestinians and Israelis build a future that works for all", he added.

The Prime Minister defends the action of the IDF in Gaza on Friday, and rejects criticism from Turkey's Erdogan, "who for years has bombed civilian populations indiscriminately".

"Have you heard any noteworthy objections to the massacre by Israel that happened yesterday in Gaza from those who criticize the Afrin operation?", Erdogan said during a speech in Istanbul.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he addresses a health conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 27, 2018.

The violence broke out on Friday after tens of thousands of people in the Gaza Strip marched near the Israeli border.

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The demonstrators are demanding that Palestinian refugees be allowed the right of return to towns and villages which their families fled from, or were driven out of when the state of Israel was created in 1948.

Turkey began the so-called Operation Olive Branch in Afrin on January 20 to clear the northern Syrian border of the People's Protection Units (YPG), a US-backed Kurdish militant group which Ankara associates with the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighting for autonomy on Turkish soil. "We will continue to support our brothers and sisters in Palestine", he said. As noted, most of the dead were known members of Hamas military wing or other Palestinian terrorist groups.

Friday's rallies were the start of a six-week protest that culminates on 15 May, the day the Palestinians call "Nakba", or the Catastrophe, when Israel was founded.

It said there were attempts to damage the fence and break through into Israel, as well as an attempted gun attack against troops.

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