Israel to debate recognising Armenian killing as genocide


The Israeli parliament voted to bring to a debate the recognition of the mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I as genocide.

The move comes during a low point in Turkey–Israel relations following fierce criticism of Israel by Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan after Israeli soldiers killed dozens of Palestinians during protests in the Gaza Strip last week.

The petition by Tamar Zandberg, leader of the left-wing Meretz party, was confirmed by a 16-0 vote.

The parliament will now hold a debate and vote on recognising the mass killing as genocide. A date for the debate has not been announced.

The Israeli government, which has consistently opposed debating the issue, did not respond to the petition or rally the coalition to vote against it.

Israel has refrained from voting on the issue in an effort to maintain relations with Turkey despite widespread support for recognising the mass killing as genocide.

Turkey vehemently rejects any assertion that the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans constitutes genocide.

However, Turkey, the Ottoman Empire's successor state, accepts that many Armenians were killed during the war.

A number of nations around the world, including Germany, France and the Netherlands, have recognised the killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. (dpa)

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