Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred to Hamas terrorists as a “liberation group” trying to protect the Palestinian people.



In an address to his ruling party’s legislators on Wednesday, Erdogan also said he has canceled plans to visit Israel as part of his country’s policy of normalizing its relations with the Jewish state, adding that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “misused our goodwill.”

Erdogan sharpened his criticisms of Israel, describing the siege of Gaza as one of the “bloodiest, most disgusting, and most savage attacks in history.”

“We have no problem with the Israeli state, but we never have, and never will, accept the atrocities committed by Israel and the fact that it acts as an organization rather than a state,” he said.

The Turkish leader called for an immediate cease-fire, for humanitarian aid to be allowed into Gaza, and for talks for the release of hostages to begin.

He also suggested the establishment of an international peace conference for Israel and the Palestinians. “All sides must pull their fingers off the trigger, a cease-fire must be declared,” he said.