Netanyahu decries Istanbul attack, says Turkey should condemn Palestinian terror

Netanyahu's comments at the top of Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting came one day before Turkey's new ambassador was set to present his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin.

December 11, 2016 13:18
1 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israel condemns all terrorism in Turkey, and expects that Turkey will condemn all attacks in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday in response to Saturday’s attack in Istanbul that killed 38 people.

Netanyahu’s comments at the top of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting came one day before Turkey’s new ambassador, Kemal Okem, was set to present his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin.

“The fight against terrorism must be mutual,” Netanyahu said. “It must be mutual in condemnation and in countermeasures, and this is what the State of Israel expects from all countries it is in contact with, including Turkey.”

In a Channel 2 interview last month, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he does not view Hamas as a terrorist organization, calling it instead a “political movement born from [a] national resurrection.”

He also said he meets with Hamas “all the time.”

In the interview, Erdogan was much more severe in his condemnation of Israel’s reaction to Palestinian terrorism than he was of the terrorism itself.

Meanwhile, Israel’s new ambassador to Ankara, Eitan Na’eh, posted on Twitter a picture of the Israeli flag at the embassy in Ankara flying at half-mast “in grief for those who lost their lives” in the Istanbul attack.

Later in the day, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a condemnation of the attack at the main Coptic Christian cathedral in Cairo that killed 25 people.

Israel “condemns the reprehensible terrorist attack” and “shares in the grief of the families of the victims and of the Egyptian people,” the statement read. “We must unite forces and fight terrorism together.”

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