Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told hundreds of thousands of Palestinian supporters at a rally in Istanbul that Hamas are not a “terrorist organisation.”
He told pro- Palestinian protestors that “Israel is an occupier” and that Hamas are a “liberation group, mujahideen waging battle to protect its lands.”
Erdogan told the crowd on Saturday, “I reiterate that Hamas is not a terrorist organisation.
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“Israel was very offended by this. (…) Israel is an occupier, Erdogan speaks clearly because Turkey does not owe you anything.”
On Wednesday Erdogan caused an uproar with Tel Aviv when he told the AK Party, “Hamas is not a terrorist organisation, it is a liberation group, ‘mujahideen’ waging a battle to protect its lands and people.”
Erdogan slammed Western leaders for their support of Israel’s strikes against Hamas, he said, “Western tears shed for Israel are a manifestation of fraud.”
Turkey who are a NATO member but does not consider Hamas a terrorist group unlike most Western countries.
Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini who said that Hamas are terrorists and hit back at Erdogan saying his words are “grave and disgusting and did not help with de-escalation.”
Salvini said, “I will propose to my colleague (Foreign Minister Antonio) Tajani to send a formal protest and to summon the Turkish Ambassador.”