Israeli MPs are reported to begin recognising the 1915 Armenian genocide by Turkey, in a bid to avenge Ankara amid an escalating diplomatic row.
Israel’s foreign ministry has blocked previous attempts to recognise the Armenian genocide, due to its fragile diplomatic ties with Turkey, as Ankara heavily denies that the events during the First World War constituted a genocide.
To this day, Israel and Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan have played down the massacres.
Israel’s latest move is what observers are calling “political chess” between the two adversaries, which could include calling out Turkey’s killings of its Kurdish minority and its occupation of northern Cyprus.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Israel for defending its border with the Gaza Strip from Palestinian rioters. Erdogan on Twitter, called Israel “an apartheid state that has occupied a defenseless people’s lands for 60+ years,” saying the Jewish state’s existence is not legitimate, as opposed to just its presence in the disputed West Bank since 1967.
Netanyahu responded by saying, “Erdogan is among Hamas’s biggest supporters and there is no doubt that he well understands terrorism and slaughter. I suggest that he not preach morality to us.”
Historians say that Ottoman authorities systematically killed around 1.5 million Armenians between the years 1915 and 1918.
Turkey, to this day, strongly denies that the killings amounted to a genocide.
Only 29 countries recognise the events of 1915-1917 as a genocide. These include Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Russia, as well as 48 states out of 50 of the United States.