July 24, 2014 - 22:02 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, July 24, Turkey would push for Israel to be tried at an international criminal court if it kept up its assault on Gaza and he accused the Jewish state of "spitting blood", according to Reuters.
Turkey, a member of the U.S.-led NATO military alliance, was once Israel's closest regional ally but has become one of its most vitriolic critics, with Erdogan last weekend accusing it of "surpassing Hitler in barbarism" with its Gaza offensive.
"If Israel continues with this attitude, it will definitely be tried at international courts," Erdogan, who is campaigning for a presidential election on Aug. 10, told a rally of supporters in the southern port city of Mersin.
"We will see this happen and Turkey will struggle for this," he told the cheering crowd.
Turkey was once considered by Washington as a credible broker in the Middle East peace process, particularly given its channels of communication with Islamist group Hamas, but that changed as Erdogan adopted an increasingly anti-Israel stance.
"At the moment, Hamas is prepared for everything in order to achieve a ceasefire... (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas is prepared too," Erdogan told CNN news channel in an interview.
"Israel is not even approaching such a thing and is spitting death, spitting blood," he said, in comments translated by the broadcaster from Turkish and aired on Thursday, according to Reuters.
He stood by his comments likening Israel's actions to those of Hitler and said the Jewish state was committing genocide.
"It is beyond comprehension that Israel is still defended by the West and the world is silent about it. Therefore we cannot remain silent and we will not be silent," Erdogan said.