JERUSALEM, Israel – Fallout continues in the Middle East after violence along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip. On Tuesday, Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador in retaliation for Israel’s defense of its southern border.
More than 60 Palestinians died as thousands rushed the border fence and a few managed to infiltrate Israel. Turkey’s action is one more sign this former ally is embracing radical Islam.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan labeled Israel’s actions along the Gaza border as genocide.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded forcefully to the accusations.
“Erdogan is among Hamas’s biggest supporters and there is no doubt that he well understands terrorism and slaughter. I suggest that he not preach morality to us,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
Other nations also criticized Israel, specifically blaming the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem for the unrest.
America’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley put the blame solely on Hamas.
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley defends Israel at the United Nations
“In recent days Hamas terrorists, backed by Iran, have incited attacks against Israeli security forces and infrastructure,” Haley stated. “Those who suggest that the Gaza violence has anything to do with the location of the American Embassy are sorely mistaken. Rather, the violence comes from those who reject the existence of the State of Israel in any location.”
An Israel Defense Forces video shows thousands of Gazans trying to breach Israel’s border, while another documented a Hamas squad armed with grenades and weapons trying to cut through the security fence. The IDF identified 24 of the dead as known terrorists.
Hamas also attacked the Kerem Shalom crossing, where Israel sends tons of food, fuel and other materials to Gaza for its people. CBN News has reported on the Kerem Shalom crossing, explaining in some detail the kinds of goods transferred daily to the residents of Gaza from medical supplies to everyday goods.
Despite the importance of the crossing to the well-being of Gaza residents, Hamas periodically tries to smuggle contraband into the Strip.
Erdogan still condemned Israel and backed its long-time Muslim Brotherhood ally Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood. Hamas states support in its charter for the complete elimination of Israel.
Middle East expert Jonathan Spyer, author of “Days of the Fall: A Reporter’s Journey in the Syria and Iraq Wars,” told CBN News Turkey’s agenda endangers “the neighborhood.”
Jonathan Spyer, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
“Turkey is moving away from its former role as a reliable Western ally and as a NATO member in good standing and more and more toward a sense that Turkey is a state deeply tinged with Islamist ideology and acting according to a sectarian and quite dangerous agenda in the neighborhood,” Spyer said.
Spyer says Erdogan has embarked on an historic mission to transform Turkey from a secular republic to an Islamic state.
This article originally appeared on CBN News, May 16, 2018, and reposted with permission.