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Israeli MP calls for recognition of 'Armenian genocide' and 'Kurdish state', as Turkey tensions continue Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israeli MP calls for recognition of 'Armenian genocide' and 'Kurdish state', as Turkey tensions continue

Erdogan slammed the massacre and emerged as one of the most outspoken critics [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 May, 2018

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Israel's parliament is set to push a number of proposals against Turkey in the latest tit-for-tat diplomatic spat between the two sides.

The Israeli Knesset is set to discuss a number of proposals against Turkey, as tensions between Tel Aviv and Ankara remain strained over Israel's mass killing of Palestinian protesters in Gaza last week.

Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg called for Israel to recognise Ottoman massacres against Armenian civilians in the last century as a "genocide", something likely to infuriate Ankara.

A member of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party has also proposed discussing further measures likely to anger Ankara, including the recognition of a Kurdish state in parts of Turkey, Syria and Iraq.

The Knesset - Israel's parliament - is set to discuss continuing economic ties with Turkey.

MK Yoav Kisch presented a motion that would halt the import of Turkish cement and bolster Israeli cement industries.

Israel's deputy Foreign Minsiter Tzipi Hotovely said on Tuesday that Israel would not sever ties with Turkey despite the current impasse.

She stressed the importance of maintaining the common interests of both countries, including benefiting from Turkish airspace on Israeli flights to Europe, and those coming from the East.

Turkish President Recep Tayyipd Erdogan, meanwhile, threatened to look into his country's economic relations with Israel following the 24 June 24 elections.

It followed a decision by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) - which Turkey is currently hosting - to boycott Israeli products.

On 14 May - coinciding with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem - Israeli forces massacred protesters calling for the "right of return" in the Gaza Strip.

Around 64 Palestinians have been killed since that date, and 3,188 injured as Israeli forces fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters.

Erdogan slammed the massacre and emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of Israel.

He has exchanged barbs with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, calling Israel an "apartheid state" and ordering the country's ambassador to Turkey to leave.

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