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Israeli-Turkish tensions heating up

JTA

June 4, 2010 | 9:51 am

As Israelis and Turks escalate their war of words, the government in Istanbul is reportedly considering reducing its relations with Jerusalem to a minimum.

“We may plan to reduce our relations with Israel to a minimum, but to assume everything involving another country is stopped in an instant, to say we have crossed you out of our address book, is not the custom of our state,” said Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc in an interview Friday with NTV, according to a report in Ha’aretz. Turkey, he said, is “assessing deals with Israel.”

Nine Turkish nationals were killed in clashes with Israeli commandos who boarded their ship.

Already, Turkey has recalled its ambassador to Israel. And its president, Abdullah Gul, said Wednesday that Israeli-Turkish ties “will never be as they were before.”

“Israel has made one of the biggest mistakes in its history,” he said, according to Ha’aretz.

A prosecutor in Istanbul is reportedly gathering evidence for a potental case against Israeli officials.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Israelis demonstrated Thursday outside the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv.

The demonstrators held signs criticizing Turkey for not stopping the Gaza-bound flotilla of ships. Some demonstrators threw rocks at the building and attempted to hang an Israeli flag on the fence.

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