“Israel is committing ethnic cleansing by ignoring peace in this region and violating international law,” Erdogan said. “It is occupying the Palestinian territory step by step.”

The infuriated premier said Israeli air raids against Gaza could not be deemed self defence, accusing Western countries of aiding what it called a “terrorist state” by condoning its violence in the Middle East.

“Sooner or later, Israel will answer for the innocent blood it has shed so far,” he said.