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Netanyahu, ‘butcher of Gaza,’ should be tried for ‘war crimes’: Turkish President Erdogan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should face trial for being a “war criminal,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, slamming him as the “butcher of Gaza.”

“We are not going to let the issue of Israel having nuclear weapons be forgotten,” Erdogan said in his opening remarks at an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Istanbul.

Those who try to ignore deaths in Gaza by keeping silent, even to legitimize it under the pretext of Hamas, have no longer any words for humanity, he said at the 39th ministerial session of the OIC Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation.

“Israel is not only a murderer but also a thief,” said Erdogan, adding: “We cannot let Israel occupy Gaza once again.”

“There is a global structure that acts with will of a few countries. UN’s corrupt structure needs to change.”

The Turkish president said Islamophobia is spreading like an epidemic in the West.

Türkiye is ready to be a guarantor country for the peace talks between Israel and Palestine, he added.

“Gaza is a Palestinian territory. Gaza belongs to Palestinians and it will remain so forever,” said the Turkish leader.

“Those who invade Gaza will seek other places tomorrow. Gaza butcher Netanyahu revealed he has expansionist ideals,” Erdogan said.

Criticizing the UN’s response to Israel’s attacks on Gaza, Erdogan said the sincere efforts of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres were sabotaged by Security Council members themselves.

More than 100 UN officials in Gaza have been killed in Israel’s attacks, Erdogan pointed out, adding that the UN, founded to protect global security and peace, cannot even secure its own employees from the “barbarity of Israel.”

Recalling the UN resolution calling for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” between Israeli and Hamas in Gaza on Oct. 27, Erdogan said this decision was an “valuable step in representing the conscience of humanity.”

“However, due to the existing structure of the UN, this decision became obsolete.”

He said the will of countries that voted in favor of the resolution and those that abstained was disregarded.

“Just this fact alone is sufficient to show how the 2 billion-strong Muslim world is being confined. There is a global structure that acts with will of a few countries. UN’s corrupt structure needs to change,” he urged.

The Israeli army resumed bombing the Gaza Strip early Friday after declaring an end to a week-long humanitarian pause.

Israel launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7.

The death toll from Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip has surged to 15,523 since the start of the conflict on Oct. 7, the Health Ministry in the besieged Palestinian enclave announced on Sunday.

The official Israeli death toll stands at 1,200.

A total of 120 countries voted in favour of the resolution, 14 countries voted against including Israel and the United States, while 45 others abstained.