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Lapid calls Turkey reconciliation a ‘diplomatic mistake’

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid urges Israel to recognize the Armenian genocide and cancel a planned gas pipeline project with Turkey, in response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s accusations on Sunday that Israel is a “terrorist state.”

He says his party will lodge a bill recognizing the genocide, a step Israel has traditionally avoided over fears of angering Turkey.

“Erdogan crossed the line. He funds the Murabitat in Jerusalem, Raed Salah and the former mufti of Jerusalem. He attacks IDF soldiers and calls them murderers. He is part of the problem with regards to Iran’s presence in Syria. It cannot stand without a response,” says Lapid.

“Someone who denies the murder of hundreds of thousands of children in the Armenian genocide won’t lecture us. Someone who cooperated with Iran and Hezbollah in Syria, in a war which has left half a million dead, won’t lecture us,” adds Lapid.

The Yesh Atid leader further condemns the reconciliation deal with Turkey, which saw Ankara and Jerusalem restore ties, years after Turkey severed diplomatic relations over the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

“The reconciliation agreement with the Turks, after the Marmara incident, was a diplomatic mistake and it has failed. We won’t be threatened. Not by the Turks. Not by the Palestinians. Not by the Arab world. If anyone didn’t like President Trump’s announcement – that’s their problem,” says Lapid.

Netanyahu yesterday hit back at Erdogan, accusing him of aiding terrorists, bombing Kurdish villages, jailing journalists, and helping Iran avoid international sanctions.

— Marissa Newman

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