ANKARA, Turkey, March 14 (UPI) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of state terrorism and genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.
Addressing Parliament, Erdogan accused Israel of committing a slow but systematic massacre that he said started at the beginning of the 20th century, the Hurriyet Daily News reported Wednesday.
Erdogan's comments Tuesday came in response to the latest round of violence in which hundreds of rockets were fired at civilian targets in southern Israel from the Gaza Strip and 26 Palestinians, the majority terrorists, were killed in retaliatory airstrikes.
"I am repeating my calls to Israel to end its inhuman attacks against Gaza and the Palestinian territories," the paper quoted him as saying.
Erdogan also called on local media to refer to the Palestinians fighting against Israel as "resisters" and not terrorists or militants, because their only aim is to defend themselves against Israeli forces, the paper said.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated since an Israeli commando raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara participating in a flotilla in May 2010 that killed Turkish activists attempting to end the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.