Responding to Erdogan, Netanyahu Denies Mossad Had Role in Kurdish Referendum

Netanyahu and Erdogan
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.

Kurdish residents in Irbil celebrate KRG referendum waving Israeli flags

“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.

Mossad chief Yossi Cohen.

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.

An odd sight: Israeli flags often appear at Kurdish rallies, like this one in Erbil. But Jews and Kurds have a long history of mutual support.

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.