Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is reverting back to his hardline stance on Israel and the Palestinian question, on Wednesday in a blistering speech blasting the Jewish state’s “inhumane” war.

The most surprising moment came when he said bluntly that “Hamas is not a terror organization” but is a “liberation group” rightfully fighting to protect Palestinian lands. This is raising eyebrows, and alarm no doubt, among Turkey’s Western allies. After all, this is the head of state for NATO’s second biggest army.

“Hamas is not a terrorist organization, it is a liberation group, ‘mujahideen’ waging a battle to protect its lands and people,” he told ruling AK Party lawmakers, using an Arabic word often used to signify ‘Islamic warriors’.