Yair Netanyahu, son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, posted a controversial image saying “Fuck Turkey” on his Instagram account on Wednesday. This follows a diplomatic row between Israel and Turkey which began Tuesday, when Ankara expelled Israel’s ambassador over the number of Palestinians killed during protests in the Gaza border on Monday.
In response to the image, Netanyahu’s associates responded: “Yair Netanyahu is a private person, as is his Instagram account.”
Earlier Wednesday, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the only remaining Turkish representative in Israel to a meeting to protest the security check Israel’s ambassador to Turkey was subjected to upon leaving the country.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry ordered Israeli Ambassador Eitan Naeh to leave Turkey Tuesday for consultations for an undetermined period of time over the reported killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces.
Turkish media was invited to cover the departure of Naeh, who was subjected to what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs described as a harsh and humiliating security check. Apparently, Naeh was frisked and requested by security personnel at Istanbul Airport to take off his shoes while the Turkish press looked on.
In response to Naeh’s expulsion, Israel ordered the Turkish consul general in Jerusalem, Husnu Gurcan Turkoglu, who is responsible for Turkey’s relations with the Palestinians, to return home for consultations. Turkey’s ambassador to Tel Aviv had already been recalled, as had Turkey’s ambassador in Washington.
In response to Israel’s expulsion of the Turkish envoy, Turkey summoned Israel’s consul general in Istanbul, Yossi Levi Safri, and also asked him to leave the country.
Erdogan said Tuesday that “Netanyahu is the PM of an apartheid state. … He has the blood of Palestinians on his hands and can’t cover up crimes by attacking Turkey.”
In return, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Erdogan. “A man who sends thousands of Turkish soldiers to hold the occupation of northern Cyprus and invades Syria will not preach to us when we defend ourselves from an attempt by Hamas. A man whose hands are stained with the blood of countless Kurdish citizens in Turkey and Syria is the last person to preach to us about combat ethics.”
On Tuesday, South Africa recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv, saying it “condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border.” Over the last several days, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg summoned their Israeli ambassadors to express their dismay and protest over the death toll in Gaza.