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Wednesday
Sep142011

Israeli Prime Minister Reacts as Turkish Ties Falter

Jim Hollander - pool/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- After more than two years of diplomatic disputes, Turkey has kicked Israel's ambassador out of the country and downgraded diplomatic ties to the lowest possible level, that of second secretary.

Israel is downplaying the dramatic nosedive in ties with Turkey. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he believed "common sense and cool-headedness" will eventually prevail on both sides. But a sense of serious concern surfaced Wednesday as Netanyahu called his closest advisors into a closed-door meeting.  

Most experts in Israel agree that this political split with Turkey is here to stay, and that more than a decade of close political and military ties has ended.

Netanyahu has not responded directly to the Turkish Prime Minister Tayipp Erodogen's reprimands from Cairo this week, which show the one-time ally is now taking an increasingly stronger stance against Israel.  

Erodogen rallied against Netanyahu's government, calling it a barrier to peace, and accused Israel of committing an act of aggression during its takeover of a Gaza aid ship in 2009 that left nine Turks dead. Erdogen also reprimanded Israel for opposing the Palestinian bid for statehood in the U.N., saying it was acting like a "spoiled child."

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