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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday reiterated his harsh criticism against Israeli Operation Cast Lead aimed at restoring calm to the south of Israel.
Speaking to the Turkish Parliament in Ankara in a session carried by local television, Erdogan said his words were "less harsh than the white phosphorous shells used by the Israeli army."
"Whoever does not express resentment over the killing of civilians, including women and children, loses his self respect," Erdogan was quoted by Israel Radio as saying.
Erdogan said his criticism did not stem from anti-Semitism and emphasized that in the past he had termed anti-Semitism a crime against humanity.
However he then went on to say that "media outlets supported by Jews are disseminating false reports on what happens in Gaza, finding unfounded excuses to justify targeting of schools, mosques and hospitals."
Earlier this week, the IDF emphatically denied claims that it was using white phosphorous shells, and the International Red Cross on Tuesday said it had no evidence the chemical was being used improperly or illegally.
Several mosques were bombed but these were all used as Hamas communication centers and weapons caches, the army said. In one incident where a shell hit near a UN-run school in Gaza, the army said Hamas operatives were firing mortar shells from near the school grounds.
On Monday, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter said Israel had information that the Shifa Hospital in Gaza was being used by Hamas terrorists as a hideout, adding that the group's leaders were even collecting their paychecks there.
Dichter said targeting the hospital was not in the cards, nor would it be in the future, "for obvious reasons."
There have been no hits on any hospital in the Gaza Strip.
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