The U.S. State Department struck out at comments made earlier Friday by Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding Israel's ongoing military incursion in the Gaza Strip Anadolu Agency reported
Speaking after Friday prayers in Istanbul Erdogan said, "Israel has been terrorizing Gaza, and carrying out genocide. It does not want a national consensus government between Fatah and Hamas, and does not want to see a united Palestine."
"Certainly we believe his statements are offensive and wrong," Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman told reporters Friday. "Of course, this kind of provocative rhetoric is unhelpful and distracts from urgent efforts to bring about a ceasefire."
The Turkish Premier also accused Friday what he said was an "alliance of crusaders," for being behind the deaths of innocent Palestinians in Gaza during a speech at a political rally.
"That is not an effort the U.S. is undergoing," said Psaki.
Israeli ground troops invaded Gaza late Thursday evening in the third major offensive in six years. The Palestinian death toll in the coastal Palestinian enclave has risen to 279.