Israel Palestine Conflict

Erdogan: Netanyahu jeopardizes region’s future to extend his political life

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is using the military campaign in Gaza against Hamas to extend his political life, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Erdogan blasted Israel’s “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” in Gaza, according to Turk-ish state news agency Anadolu.

“Israel’s war crimes and its crimes against humanity in Gaza should not be left unanswered,” he said. He stressed that Turkey’s priority is to “ensure that a permanent ceasefire is implemented in Gaza and humanitarian aid is delivered without any interruption.”

Erdogan took aim at Netanyahu, accusing him of using the war to prolong his political career. “Netanyahu jeopardizes the region’s future and safety to extend his political life.”

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While Netanyahu seems dead set on his declared mission to wipe out Hamas from Gaza, he is facing political headwinds on the domestic front over the failure to prevent the October 7 attack and a storm of criticism from the international community over the thousands of Palestinian civilians killed in the crossfire.

On the home front, the opposition is calling for Netanyahu’s resignation. Opposition leader Yair Lapid had said: “Netanyahu needs to go now during the fighting,” according to the Times of Israel.

“This government isn’t functioning. We need change — Netanyahu cannot continue to be prime minister. We cannot allow ourselves to conduct a prolonged campaign with a prime minister that the public has no faith in,” Lapid said

In November, according to polls cited by Times of Israel, 70 to 80 percent of Israelis said they believed Netanyahu should resign after the war.

The embattled PM is also facing growing international criticism, even from close ally US.

NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said last week: “We have been very consistent and clear with our Israeli counterparts that we do not support a move to the south unless or until they have adequately accounted for the protection of innocent human life — civil-ian life in Southern Gaza.”

Meanwhile, international and humanitarian organizations have denounced the skyrocketing death toll that the Israel-Hamas war has wrought.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said last week: “It is apparent that on both sides, some view the killing of civilians as either acceptable collateral damage or a deliberate and useful weapon of war. This is a humanitarian and human rights crisis. It represents a breakdown of the most basic respect for humane values. The killing of so many civilians cannot be dismissed as collateral damage.”

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