Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Israel a "regional threat" to the Middle East and accused it of having engaged in "state terrorism" during a foreign policy speech in South Africa Wednesday.
Erdogan also took on the topic of civilian casualties, charging that the Jewish state had killed "tens of thousands" of Palestinians in Gaza, while discounting the number of Israeli civilians maimed and killed by rockets fired from Gaza.
"I right now see Israel as a threat for its region, because it has the atomic bomb," Erdogan said in Wednesday's speech. His latest comments follow months of rebuking the West for supporting Israeli nuclear ambiguity, while demanding Iran relinquish weapons.
The Turkish PM has led his country's growing condemnation of, and distancing from, its former ally. Last month, he called for UN sanctions on Israel during an interview with Time Magazine, and he accused the Jewish state of manipulating the Holocaust for public sympathy during an interview with CNN.