Israel-Palestine conflict LIVE: Israel raids al-Shifa Hospital for second day

Palestinian group, Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, has announced the start of military the operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel. Thousands of rockets have been fired from the blockaded enclave towards the occupied territories as far away as Tel Aviv, killing over 1,200 Israelis, including both military and settlers. More than 11,500 Palestinians have been so far killed in an exchange of fire between the two sides.

UN experts say growing signs of genocide against Palestinians

A group of United Nations experts announced there is “evidence of increasing genocidal incitement” against the Palestinian people, in what it adds are “grave violations” committed by Israel.

“We are deeply disturbed by the failure of governments to heed our call and to achieve an immediate ceasefire,” the group of experts, which included several UN special rapporteurs, said in a statement.

“We are also profoundly concerned about the support of certain governments for Israel’s strategy of warfare against the besieged population of Gaza, and the failure of the international system to mobilise to prevent genocide,” they added.

Israeli troops turn al-Shifa hospital into ‘large prison’

The Israeli army assault on Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital, the largest medical complex in the Palestinian territory, is continuing for the second day, as thousands of civilians inside remain besieged.

The hospital has been turned into a “large prison”, Dr Muhammad Abu Salmiya said, speaking from inside the hospital on Thursday afternoon.

“The occupation soldier roam freely inside the hospital and only want to kill, kill, then kill,” Abu Salmiya, the hospital’s director, told Al Jazeera Arabic.

“Even the jungle law doesn’t allow the current inhumane conditions at al-Shifa,” he continued, adding, “We are fighting death minute by minute.”

In a phone interview with Al Jazeera 35 hours after troops broke into al-Shifa, Abu Salmiya gave the following updates:

  • Israeli tanks have encircled the hospitals while soldiers roam inside, including in the emergency room.
  • Soldiers have searched all departments, taken bodies of dead patients and blown water pipes.
  • Some displaced families are held by soldiers in storage rooms.
  • No fighting took place inside the hospital, and no bullets were fired at soldiers from within the complex.
  • Communications between doctors across different sections are cut.
  • Oxygen and water have completely run out.
  • The hospital has been turned into a “large prison” with no food, water and electricity available.
  • Doctors can no longer treat patients, who are at risk of dying at any moment.
  • Doctors have decided to stay with their patients until the end, dead or alive.

Out of 35 Gaza hospitals, nine are partially functioning: Health ministry

Here are the latest statistics provided by the Gaza Ministry of Health:

  • Out of 35 hospitals, nine are partially functioning. The rest are out of service.
  • The Palestinian death toll as of Wednesday stood at 11,470, of whom 4,407 are children. More than 29,000 people are injured.
  • In al-Shifa Hospital, 40 patients, including three premature babies, have died since November 11 due to a lack of fuel.
  • Medical teams cannot move between departments and buildings at al-Shifa Hospital because an Israeli drone fires at those who move around the complex.
  • Among the dead are 202 medical staff members and 26 members of the civil defence. More than 200 health personnel have been wounded.
  • Displaced people fleeing from northern Gaza are reporting the presence of bodies in the streets. As of Wednesday, more than 3,640 civilians are missing, including 1,770 children, who are presumed to be trapped or dead under the rubble.
  • More than 58 percent (almost 276,000) of Gaza’s housing units have been destroyed.
  • More than 60 ambulances have been attacked; 55 are damaged and out of service.

Gaza’s Hamas-run government media office accuses Israel of lying about evidence at Al-Shifa hospital

The Hamas-run government media office has accused Israel of lying on evidence found inside Al-Shifa hospital.

Ismail Al Thawabta, the director of the Gaza Government Media office, rejected Israel’s allegations that Hamas equipment was found in Al-Shifa hospital.

Israel says its soldiers have uncovered what the army is calling “military equipment used by Hamas” during a raid at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

Al Thawabta stated Israel failed to present significant evidence despite the “whole world” predicting “that this [Israeli] military was going to show maps of the Hamas command and control centers.”

A member of Hamas’ political office, Izzat al-Risheq, accused Israel of “staging a shameful play” with the raid, in a statement on Telegram.

Both Risheq and Thawabta accused Israel of fabricating the evidence presented.

UN Security Council resolution on Gaza humanitarian pauses ‘has to be implemented at once’: Rights chief

A United Nations Security Council resolution demanding urgent humanitarian pauses in Gaza “has to be implemented at once”, the UN High commissioner for human rights said on Thursday.

Responding to Anadolu’s question regarding the resolution adopted on Wednesday, Volker Turk stated: “It (the resolution) needs to be implemented immediately.”

His remarks came during a media stakeout in Geneva following his briefing to member states on his visit to the Middle East.

“It’s the beginning of what is needed to act to mitigate the extremely precarious humanitarian situation in Gaza,” Turk continued, adding, “So, it has to be implemented at once.”

He stated that the resolution has also included a monitoring mechanism.

EU’s top diplomat urges Israel ‘not to be consumed by rage’

Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, has called for Hamas to immediately release its hostages, but asked Israel “not to be consumed by rage” in its battle with the terror group.

“I ask for their immediate and unconditional release,” Borrell said on a visit to a kibbutz targeted by Hamas in the October 7 attacks.

“I understand your fears and pain… I understand your rage. But let me ask you not to be consumed by rage,” he added.

Options for evacuating Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital limited: WHO

The United Nations is looking for ways to evacuate Al Shifa hospital in Gaza but options are limited by security and logistical constraints, a senior World Health Organization official said on Thursday.

One obstacle is that the Palestinian Red Crescent lacks sufficient fuel for its ambulances within Gaza to evacuate patients, WHO regional emergencies director Rick Brennan told Reuters.

Egypt was open to having its ambulances cross into Gaza to help evacuate people as long as security guarantees and safe passage could be provided, he added.

HRW: Communications blackouts like in Gaza could be ‘cover for atrocities’

Restrictions on communications, like those imposed by Israel in the Gaza Strip, could be used to cover up atrocities, Human Rights Watch has warned.

In a statement on Thursday, the organisation said the besieged Palestinian territory is facing an imminent communications blackout due to fuel shortages caused by Israel’s ongoing assault and blockade.

A total blackout will further compound the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the NGO added.

“Intentional, blanket shutdowns or restrictions on access to the internet violate multiple rights and can be deadly during crises,” stated Deborah Brown, a senior technology researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Prolonged and complete communications blackouts, like those experienced in Gaza, can provide cover for atrocities and breed impunity while further undermining humanitarian efforts and putting lives at risk.”

HRW urged Israel to end its blockade, allow fuel into Gaza and “refrain from deliberately shutting down or destroying telecommunications systems that cause disproportionate harm to civilians”.

Israeli army claims it gained control of Gaza port

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed on Thursday that they had taken “operational control” of the harbor in Gaza City, which is the center of the strip’s fleet of fishing vessels.

In a statement, the IDF said the harbor had also been used as a training facility for Hamas fighters.

The IDF added their forces had destroyed ten tunnel shafts as part of the operation.

Israeli air forces drop leaflets on Khan Younis telling citizens to leave

The Israeli air force dropped leaflets overnight in eastern areas of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip, telling people to leave their homes and shelters “for their own safety”, suggesting an imminent military operation in the area.

Khan Younis has become a refuge for tens of thousands of Gazans displaced from the north.

This is not the first time such leaflets have been dropped in Gaza.

In the first weeks of the war, Israeli drones dropped leaflets on north Gaza, telling people to transfer to the south, with no guarantee of their return.

Israeli forces carry out mass arrests in occupied West Bank

Israeli forces have carried out a widespread arrest campaign in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, according to the Ramallah-based Commission of Detainees Affairs and Wafa news agency.

At least 85 citizens in the occupied West Bank were detained, taking the number of detentions from the start of the war on 7 October to 2,735.

Local media also reported Israeli raids taking place in al-Mughayyir, east of Ramallah.

UN chief: Disease and hunger now ‘inevitable’ in Gaza

The United Nations human rights chief stated on Thursday that outbreaks of disease and hunger seemed “inevitable” in Gaza after weeks of Israeli assault on the densely populated enclave.

“Massive outbreaks of infectious disease, and hunger, seem inevitable,” Volker Turk said at an informal briefing to states at the UN in Geneva following a visit to the Middle East.

All of the bakeries in Gaza are now out of service, after being bombed by Israeli air strikes.

Israeli army raids all departments of Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) continues its operation in the Al-Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Thursday, storming into all its departments, Al Jazeera reported.

According to the report, “occupational forces are raiding all departments of the Al-Shifa hospital, sowing panic among patients”. Besides, Israeli servicemen detained some of the hospital’s personnel and “are shooting at anyone who is trying to leave”.

“The Al-Shifa medical complex has turned into a true graveyard for everyone inside,” the channel quoted a Gaza official as saying.

According to the Al Mayadeen television, at least 6,000 people are still staying at the facility, including patients, personnel and refugees who sought shelter there.

Three Palestinians killed, Israeli critically wounded in suspected shooting in Jerusalem

Three Palestinians have been killed in a suspected shooting in Jerusalem on Thursday, according to Al Jazeera Arabic.

Israeli media also reported that five Israelis were wounded, with one being described as being in critical condition, according to the Emergency Medical Services.

The shooting took place at a checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Israeli army destroys Al-Shifa Hospital building during raid, detains Palestinians

Israeli army forces have fully damaged the specialised surgeries building at Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital, according to Al Jazeera English.

The Israeli army also blew up a medicine store room and destroyed medical equipment during the ongoing raid.

Around 200 people are being blindfolded, interrogated and taken to unknown areas at al-Shifa.

Some people have been stripped naked and forced into the hospital courtyard before they were interrogated.

‘We can’t leave a vacuum’: Israel’s president

In an interview with the Financial Times, the Israeli president has said Israel will have to have a “very strong” force in Gaza once it defeats Hamas to prevent the group from running the besieged enclave again.

“If we pull back, then who will take over? We can’t leave a vacuum. We have to think about what will be the mechanism; there are many ideas that are thrown in the air,” Isaac Herzog, who has no executive powers, told the British publication.

“But no one will want to turn this place, Gaza, into a terror base again,” Herzog added.

Herzog’s comments follow remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has said Israel will have to maintain security control “as long as necessary” and ruled out any role for the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Gaza’s post-war governance. Some in his far-right government have even gone further, speaking about the need to re-establish illegal settlements like before the withdrawal of 2005.

Such remarks have been at odds with Israel’s strongest ally, the US, which has announced the PA should be put in charge of the Strip once the conflict is over and repeatedly warned that Israel should not “reoccupy” Gaza.

Hamas, meanwhile, insists that “no one has the right to determine” the Palestinians’ “fate, future and interests”.

In a statement, the group stressed last week comments on talks about who would rule Gaza after the war are “rude and unacceptable as the free Palestinian people cannot accept any form of trusteeship”.

Israel says it attacked Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh’s home

The Israeli military announced it bombed the home of Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas.

“The 215th fire brigade in the 162nd division attacked tonight with fighter jets the house of Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the political bureau of the terrorist organisation Hamas,” the Israeli military said on social media platform X, adding the home was used for “terrorist infrastructure” and senior level Hamas meetings.

The military released video footage showing missiles being fired at what appeared to be a large residential home.

Haniyeh is based mainly Qatar along with other members of Hamas’ political leadership.

Israel says two soldiers killed in Gaza, raising death toll to 50

The Israeli military announced Thursday that two soldiers were killed fighting in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, bringing the death toll since Israel launched its ground invasion to 50.

The military said Captain Asaf Master, 22, a platoon commander in the 401st Brigade’s 601 Battalion and Captain Kfir Itzhak Franco, 22, a platoon commander in the 401st Brigade’s 52nd Battalion were killed.

The military added two soldiers were seriously injured in Gaza.

Gaza on verge of communications blackout due to lack of fuel

The Palestinian telecommunications company Paltel has warned that communications in Gaza were expected to be cut in the coming hours as a result of the company’s data centres and other equipment shutting down.

The company added it does not have enough fuel to keep the vital equipment running after Israel banned the import of any fuel into the besieged enclave.

Israel and Hamas hostage deal at impasse over length of ceasefire: Report

A hostage deal between Israel and Hamas has hit an impasse over the number of days Israel will allow a ceasefire in the enclave and other matters, according to Axios.

The Axios report says Qatar has passed along two ceasefire proposals from Hamas to Israel.

The first would see Hamas release 18 hostages, including women and children, in exchange for a three-day ceasefire.

Israel rejected the proposal on the grounds it could not agree to a pause in fighting for more than 24 hours in exchange for the release of so few hostages.

In the second proposal, Hamas offered the gradual release of a larger number of hostages over several days in exchange for a five day pause. Israel doesn’t want to offer more than three days.

Hamas will release 50 women and children it is holding as part of this proposal. It will continue to release 10 hostages per day for the remainder of the ceasefire. A lapse in the release of hostages would trigger the resumption of fighting.

The negotiations have hit other roadblocks.

Hamas doesn’t hold all the hostages, and it must coordinate with Islamic Jihad and at least one armed group in Gaza identified as “Al-Shabiha” that hold some hostages, according to Axios.

In addition to a ceasefire, Israel must release Palestinian women, children and elderly people held in its prisons. Israel would also agree to allow more fuel into Gaza in coordination with the UN and would commit to allowing 200 aid trucks into Gaza each day via Egypt.

Israeli and US officials told Axios it’s unclear if a deal can be reached in the next few days.

Only one hospital still admitting sick, wounded in war-torn northern Gaza: UN

Around 50 killed in strike on mosque in central Gaza

About 50 people were killed and dozens more injured by an Israeli strike that hit a mosque in the Al-Sabra neighborhood of the central Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian news agency, Wafa.

Three people were killed and dozens more injured after an airstrike hit the Malaysian school in the Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip, Wafa reported.

Israel has told Palestinians in Gaza to flee northern Gaza to avoid fighting as the bulk of its operations focus on the north.

Israel has no right to ‘wage war’ on Palestinians: UN rapporteur

WHO: Two-thirds of Gaza hospitals now closed

Two-thirds of Gaza’s hospitals are no longer open, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced.

It says 26 out of 36 medical facilities have closed since the war began because of damage or insufficient fuel.

Dr. Rik Peeperkorn, WHO’s representative in the West Bank and Gaza, stated it was “urgently exploring the possibility of an evacuation of patients and medical staff”.

Biden accuses Hamas of “war crime”

President Joe Biden accused Hamas of committing a “war crime” for operating what the US and Israel have claimed is a command node under the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza.

Biden said he discussed the dangerous situation at the hospital, Gaza’s largest, during his meeting with China’s leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday.

“You have a circumstance where the first war crime is being committed by Hamas by having their headquarters, their military hidden under a hospital. And that’s a fact. That’s what’s happened,” Biden told reporters during a press conference Wednesday.

Israeli soldiers launched a raid early Wednesday morning on Al-Shifa, after accusing Hamas of operating from tunnels beneath the vast complex – a claim denied by the group and hospital officials.

Over 3,600 people remain missing in Gaza Strip

Over 3,600 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are still considered missing after Israeli strikes, Al Jazeera reported citing the enclave authorities.

According to the report, “the number of missing [Gaza Palestinians] that remain under the debris stands at 3,640, 1,770 of them – children.”

According to the latest information from Gaza authorities, a total of 11,500 people died in the enclave since October 7, including 4,710 children and 3,160 women.

Hostage talks between Israel and Gaza have ‘reached crisis’

Hostage talks between Israel and Hamas mediated by Qatar have reached a crisis, Haaretz has reported.

Arab and Palestinian sources told the newspaper that Hamas wants a five-day ceasefire for their release, whereas Israel is only willing to consider a five-day truce.

Hamas has also demanded Israel stops flying drones over Gaza during the ceasefire so it does not discover where the hostages are being kept.

Israel has opposed that request as well as the terror group’s demand for the restoration of freedom of movement between the south and north of Gaza.

Hamas is reported to have refused to compromise on these three demands.

“Carnage in Gaza cannot be allowed to continue”: UN humanitarian chief

The horror suffered by civilians in Gaza has intensified each day and the “carnage” must stop, the United Nations’ humanitarian chief stated after Israeli forces raided Al-Shifa hospital.

“As the carnage in Gaza reaches new levels of horror every day, the world continues to watch in shock as hospitals come under fire, premature babies die, and an entire population is deprived of the basic means of survival,” said Martin Griffiths, the UN’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator.

“This cannot be allowed to continue.”

Griffiths also released a “comprehensive” plan to rein in the carnage and urged the international community to support it.

“The world must act before it is too late,” he added.

Israel has claimed that underground bunkers beneath Al-Shifa hospital — the largest hospital in Gaza — have been used by Hamas as a command center. But hospital officials and Hamas have denied those allegations.

Only military force will free the hostages: DM

Only military force will free the 240 hostages in Hamas captivity, Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant has said.

“That is why I pushed all the way for the [ground invasion] manouevre because first of all, it achieves the goals of the war, and secondly, Hamas only understands force,” he told IDF reservists.

“If you don’t act with force, they don’t understand. When you start acting with force, you suddenly have something to give them, and what you can give them is a short period of quiet, and when you give them a short period of quiet, they are willing to pay for it.”

He added: “We are going to perform any action that can lead to the rescue of our hostages

Israel claims soldiers found Hamas “military equipment” at Al-Shifa, but no evidence yet of tunnel network

Israel claimed its soldiers have uncovered what the army is calling “military equipment used by Hamas” during a raid at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

Israeli forces entered Al-Shifa in the early hours of Wednesday, after signaling for weeks their intention to move on the complex, which they claim is the site of an underground command and control center for Hamas.

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the military operation at the hospital “is still underway and will take time.”

“It’s a complicated area, which still has many people. We need to conduct in the right pace,” he added.

Doctors and health officials in the Hamas-controlled enclave have consistently rejected accusations that the hospital was the site of a command center.

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced soldiers located a room in the hospital where they found, “technological assets, along with military and combat equipment used by Hamas”.

“In another department in the hospital, the soldiers located an operational command center and technological assets belonging to Hamas,” the statement went on, which indicated, the statement said, “that the terrorist organization uses the hospital for terrorist purposes”.

The statement added the IDF was continuing to operate in the hospital complex.

A senior Israeli defense official has also claimed troops had uncovered “concrete evidence that Hamas terrorists used the Shifa hospital as a terror headquarters”, promising to present the evidence later.

Israel is under significant international pressure to prove its claims about Hamas’s infiltration of the hospital, in order to justify some of its military decisions — which could otherwise constitute a possible serious violation of international humanitarian law.

There is certainly no indication yet that troops have uncovered a multi-level tunnel structure with underground chambers — of the kind illustrated in an animation presented by the army spokesman at a briefing almost three weeks ago.

Hamas responded to earlier comments from the Israeli army – that troops had found weapons inside the hospital – as a blatant lie and propaganda.

At least 42 journalists have been killed since Israel-Hamas war started

The death toll among journalists covering the war between Israel and Hamas has soared to 42 — an average of at least one death per day since the conflict began October 7, according to the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists.

Most of the journalists — 37 — were Palestinian, according to CPJ data released Wednesday. Four of the journalists were Israeli and one was Lebanese, the CPJ said.

Al Qahera News photographer Ahmed Fatima and local radio director Yaacoub Al-Barsh were among the latest journalists killed in strikes on Gaza, CPJ added, citing multiple news outlets and press freedom groups.

The latest conflict has been the deadliest period for journalists since the Committee to Protect Journalists starting tracking such data in 1992.

“CPJ is also investigating numerous unconfirmed reports of other journalists being killed, missing, detained, hurt, or threatened, and of damage to media offices and journalists’ homes,” the nonprofit noted.

Israel’s operation at Gaza hospital is its own decision: White House

The US continues to believe Israel should not target hospitals in Gaza from the air and that civilians should be protected from the crossfire, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said, as Israel continues its raid on the enclave’s largest medical facility.

Kirby stated the US did not sign off on the specific operation around Al-Shifa Hospital nor does it approve any of Israel’s military plans.

“We did not give an OK to their military operations around the hospital, in similar fashion to the fact that we don’t give OKs to their other tactical operations,” he added.

“These are Israeli military operations that they plan and they execute on, you know, in accordance with their own established procedures that the United States is not involved in.”
He said he would “refrain … from providing a running commentary on what is an ongoing operation.”

He repeated his assertion from a day earlier that the US doesn’t “want to see hospitals attacked from the air” or to “see innocent civilians, patients, medical staff become victims of crossfire between Hamas and Israeli Defense Forces”.

He said the operation around Al-Shifa was “not a focus” of President Joe Biden’s phone call Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Kirby also added the decision Tuesday to unveil downgraded intelligence about Hamas’ use of the Al-Shifa Hospital as a command node was unrelated to Israel’s forthcoming operation.

“My delivery of some downgraded information yesterday, the timing of that really came after work by the intelligence community to prepare that information for downgrade, and it had nothing to do with any operational timing or any decision making by the Israeli Defense Forces,” he continued.

Hamas: Gaza’s largest hospital is now under control of Israeli forces

Hamas has announced Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa, is under the control of Israeli forces, the militant group said in a statement Wednesday.

Israeli forces launched a raid on the Al-Shifa hospital complex early Wednesday after accusing Hamas of operating from tunnels beneath the vast complex – a claim that has been repeatedly and vehemently denied by the group and hospital officials.

“We hold the ‘Israeli’ occupation fully responsible for the lives and safety of medical personnel, the wounded, the sick, premature children, and the displaced,” the Hamas government media office stressed.

Head of UN relief agency in Gaza says 70% of Gazans won’t have access to clean water by end of Wednesday

The main United Nations relief agency operating in Gaza warned on Wednesday that its “entire operation is now on the verge of collapse”.

The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA), Philippe Lazzarini, warned “by the end of today, around 70% of the population in Gaza won’t have access to clean water”, in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

UNRWA is sheltering some 780,000 people in more than 150 overcrowded facilities even as basic services have crumbled. Yesterday, the agency said a total of 102 aid workers with UNRWA had been killed and 27 others wounded in Gaza since Israel’s war with Hamas began.

“To have fuel for trucks only will not save lives anymore. Waiting longer will cost lives,” Lazzarini added.

Israeli airstrikes in response to Hamas’ attack on Israel more than a month ago have killed over 11,000 people, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah, citing medical sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave. A fuel blockade has resulted in a deepening humanitarian crisis as hospitals, water systems, bakeries and other services reliant on electricity shut down.

Israel accuses Turkey of supporting terrorism, Ankara rejects “unfounded slander”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected criticism from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that Ankara was the real sponsor of terrorism and had no right to lecture anyone.

“He calls Israel a terrorist state, but in fact supports the terrorist state of Hamas,” Netanyahu said in a statement quoted by Israeli media.

“He himself bombed Turkish villages within [his] borders — we will not accept preaching from him.”

Ankara has waged war on Kurdish separatists both in Turkish territory and abroad for years.

Earlier on Wednesday, in a speech to his Justice and Development Party (AKP), Erdogan accused Israel of being a “terror state” for what it has done to the Palestinians of Gaza.

“Israel sticks to a strategy of total destruction of the city and its people. It is brutally wreaking state terror, deliberately bombing civilians on the run. I say openly, with a clear heart, that Israel is a terror state,“ the Turkish leader stated.

Erdogan argued that Israel has been “continuously committing war crimes for the last 40 days”, deliberately targeting “hospitals, streets and mosques” in Gaza with the full backing of the US and the West.

He also accused Netanyahu of “carrying out the most heinous attack against women and children in all of history” and threatening people with nuclear weapons.

Earlier this month, Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu suggested using a nuclear weapon – which Israel has neither confirmed nor denied having – against Gaza. His remarks caused widespread condemnation both in Arab countries and at home.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant condemned Eliyahu’s words as “baseless and irresponsible”, while opposition leader Yair Lapid called on Netanyahu to fire the minister for causing “harm to the families of the hostages, Israeli society, and our international standing”, Eliyahu insisted his comments were “metaphorical” and ended up getting suspended.

On Wednesday, Ankara rejected “unfounded slander” from Netanyahu against Erdogan, saying Israeli officials have “no right to talk about the law”.

“Israeli officials, who have entered the dark pages of history with the oppression and massacres committed against the Palestinian people, have no right to talk about the law,” the foreign ministry announced in a statement.

“(Israeli Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu and (Foreign Minister) Eli Cohen, who are both uncomfortable with the truth being expressed, will not be able to cover up their own crimes with their unfounded slander about Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey,” it added.

“Israeli authorities, who have already lost their legitimacy in the conscience of humanity, will not be able to conceal the crimes they committed by bombing hospitals and killing women and children in front of the whole world and will not be able to divert attention,” it noted.

The instigators and perpetrators of the crimes against humanity, which have caused deep indignation in the global public opinion, will sooner or later be tried, the ministry stressed.

Turkey will continue to stand against the massacre in Gaza and support the just cause of the Palestinian people, it stressed.

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