“Those who associate Islam with terrorism close their eyes in the face of mass killing of Muslims, turn their heads from the massacre of children in Gaza,” Erdogan told a conference of the Eurasian Islamic Council in Istanbul.

“For this reason, I say that Israel is a terrorist state, and its acts are terrorist acts,” he said.

Ties between Israel and Turkey, once Israel’s only Muslim ally, crumbled after Israeli marines stormed an aid ship in 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Palestinian-run Gaza Strip. Nine Turks were killed in clashes with activists on board.