Turkey's Prime Minister and presidential candidate Tayyip Erdogan speaks during an election rally in Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey, July 26, 2014. Reuters/Umit Bektas

The aftermath of the Paris attack has turned into an ugly spat between Turkey and Israel, with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu comparing his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to the Islamist attackers in Paris, who killed 17 people, saying both committed crimes against humanity.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Davutoglu said Israel's bombing of Gaza and its storming of a Turkish-led aid convoy in 2010, which killed 10 Turks, were also horrific acts like the Paris attacks. Davutoglu, who attended the Paris memorial rally, where Israeli PM also took part, called it a march against terrorism. The comments made by the Turkish PM marked an escalation in the war of words between the two countries, who where were allies in the past, reported Reuters.

"Just as the massacre in Paris committed by terrorists is a crime against humanity, Netanyahu, as the head of the government that kills children playing on the beach with the bombardment of Gaza, destroys thousands of homes ... and that massacred our citizens on an aid ship in international waters, has committed crimes against humanity," the Turkish premier said.

Anti-Semitic Bully

Israel retorted with its foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, calling Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan as an "anti-Semitic bully" for criticising Netanyahu's attendance at the Paris solidarity march on Sunday. Erdogan's spokesman reacted to the Israeli charge and called it "Islamophobic" and unacceptable for Netanyahu to link the Paris bloodshed to Islam. "The Israeli government must halt its aggressive and racist policies instead of attacking others and sheltering behind anti-Semitism," spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote on the presidential website. Though Turkey condemned the Jan. 7 attack on Charlie Hebdo, it also warned that rising Islamophobia in Europe is inflaming Muslim unrest.

Estranged NATO Member

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported about Turkey's uncomfortable relations with many important members of NATO, despite being part of the military alliance. Of late, Turkey has been showing an estrangement from the United States and other Western allies, over the issue of civil war in Syria. The United States is miffed with Turkey for not doing more in the war against the ISIS and has expressed its displeasure at Turkey's lax policing at the borders to the rise of Islamic State.

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