Turkey's Erdogan slams Netanyahu, calls Israel an 'apartheid state'

Palestinian protesters carry an injured man who was shot by Israeli troops during a deadly protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel. Adel Hana  AP

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On Tuesday, hundreds of people in Tel Aviv marched and blocked traffic after Israeli forces fired on largely unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza on Monday, killing around 60 people and injuring hundreds more.

In a response statement, Netanyahu said that "Erdoğan is among Hamas's biggest supporters and there is no doubt that he well understands terrorism and slaughter".

Palestinian leaders have called Monday's events a massacre and the Israeli tactic of using live fire against the protesters has drawn worldwide concern and condemnation.

Netanyahu blamed Hamas for the Gaza violence.

Ankara said that US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and open an embassy there was "violating worldwide law and all relevant UN Resolutions".

Namibia has condemned Israel for the killing of 59 Palestinians in bloody clashes near Gaza on Monday, the deadliest day there since the 2014 war, as the United States officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem just 50 miles away. At least 60 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured, Gaza officials said.

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Rights groups have said the use of potentially lethal force against protesters who pose no immediate threat to soldiers' lives is unlawful.

At Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva, over 100 people, mostly Arab students but also including 20-or-so Jews, held a spontaneous demonstration.

"This is peaceful resistance bolstered by a military force and by security agencies and enjoying tremendous popular support", Zahhar said.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the situation as "explosive" and criticised the United States for unilateral acts in the region and Israel for what he said was an unjustified level of violence.

"The Jews go insane for Hitler when they see it", he said.

Israel has said it is acting in self-defence to defend its borders and communities.

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"The Israeli ambassador was told that our envoy to Israel was called back for consultations, and was informed that it would be appropriate for him to go back to his country for some time", a Turkish Foreign Ministry source said.

The chairperson reiterated the solidarity of the AU with the Palestinian people in their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign State with East Jerusalem as its capital.

China called on Israel to exercise restraint.

United Nations human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said Israel had a right to defend its borders according to global law, but lethal force must only be used a last resort, and was not justified by Palestinians approaching the Gaza fence.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley defended Israel, however.

Turkey's government on Tuesday ordered the Israeli ambassador to leave the country, retaliating for Israel's killing of dozens of Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip and underscoring the growing worldwide fallout from the bloodshed.

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