Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied on Sunday that Israel had a role in last week’s Kurdish independence referendum, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed the Jewish state’s Mossad intelligence agency intervened in the Sept. 25 vote.
“I understand why those who support Hamas want to see the Mossad everywhere that is uncomfortable for them, but Israel had no part in the Kurdish referendum, apart from the deep, natural sympathy that the people of Israel have had for many years for the Kurdish people and their aspirations,” Netanyahu said at the start of Israel’s weekly cabinet meeting, referring to Turkey’s diplomatic and financial support of the Gaza-ruling Palestinian terror group.
In an address broadcast on Turkish television Saturday, Erdogan expressed dismay over seeing Iraqi Kurds celebrating their independence vote by waving Israeli flags.
“This shows one thing, that this administration (in northern Iraq) has a history with [the] Mossad, they are hand-in-hand together,” said Erdogan.
Last week, Erdogan indicated he would mull severing ties with Israel if the Jewish state refused to withdraw its support for an independent Kurdish state. Leading up to the referendum, Netanyahu endorsed Kurdish statehood, making Israel the only nation to officially back the move.