Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the security cabinet that the crisis in ties with Russia following the downing of a Russian jet by Syrian anti-aircraft missiles during an Israeli strike is worse than initially believed, Hadashot TV news reports.
“The crisis with Putin is far worse than we thought,” the network quotes Netanyahu saying following his trip to Bulgaria last week.
Russia has blamed Israel for the downing of the plane, a charge denied by Jerusalem, and, in recent weeks, has ramped up its criticism of Israeli airstrikes in Syria.
“Putin sees the downing of the plane as a personal affront to his prestige and this is an important component in his perception of power,” Netanyahu reportedly said.
“Therefore, this is a strategic blow that made the crisis worse,” he is said to have added.