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Erdogan says Netanyahu, 'the butcher of Gaza', must be tried in ICC

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during his party's group meeting at the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara on November 29, 2023. (AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he called “the butcher of Gaza,” must be tried in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for committing war crimes in the besieged Palestinian territory.

The Turkish leader once again urged the court in The Hague to ensure accountability for Netanyahu, who has “already written his name in history as the butcher of Gaza.”

He said the Netanyahu regime’s massacre in Gaza is etched in history as a “black stain.”

"This is state terrorism. We cannot stay silent against this state terrorism."

The Turkish president has repeatedly called for the occupying regime to be held accountable for war crimes in the Gaza Strip since Tel Aviv waged its war on the populated Palestinian territory almost two months ago.

Israel has so far killed more than 15,200 people, according to the Gaza health ministry, which said Saturday that 70 percent of those killed are women and children.

“The occupation (forces) continues to expand its bombing of civilians after the end of the humanitarian pause,” the ministry said, referring to a week-long ceasefire that expired on Friday.

Chance for peace lost

Referring to the resumption of Israel’s attacks on Gaza, Erdogan said that the chance for peace in the Palestinian territory was lost for now due to “Israel's uncompromising approach.”

"We have always emphasized that we are in favor of a permanent ceasefire rather than a humanitarian break.”

The truce that started on Nov. 24 had been extended twice. It saw the release of 105 Israeli captives held in Gaza and 240 Palestinian prisoners.

The temporary ceasefire also allowed some humanitarian aid into Gaza but the aid supplies were far below what is needed, according to aid workers.

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