With tensions between Israel and Turkey on the rise, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recognize the mass murders of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman government in 1915 as genocide.
In the past, the Foreign Ministry had assessed that such a move was likely to lead to the expulsion of Israeli Embassy staff in Ankara and the recalling of Turkey’s ambassador from Israel.
While Turkey denies that the mass killings constitute genocide, some 29 countries and 48 of the 50 U.S. states have officially recognized them as such.
Erdan’s call to recognize the Armenian genocide follows a war of words between Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in which Erdoğan has accused Israel of using “disproportionate force” against the “peaceful protesters” during the March 30 Hamas-orchestrated march in the Gaza Strip.
He later called Israel a “terrorist state.”
On Monday, Erdan said the 2016 reconciliation between Jerusalem and Ankara may have been “a mistake.”
Once close regional allies, Israel and Turkey froze diplomatic ties after the 2010 Israeli Navy raid on a flotilla trying to breach the Gaza blockade, in which 10 Turkish nationals were killed.