Israel has formally rejected the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party – also known as the PKK – as a terrorist group, but has expressed support for the Kurds in their effort to seek independence.
In a statement released to media, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew a sharp difference between Israeli statements about domestic terrorism in other nations, and those of Turkey.
“Israel rejects the PKK and considers it a terrorist organization, as opposed to Turkey, which supports the terror organization Hamas,” Netanyahu pointed out.
“While Israel rejects terror in any form, it supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own,” the prime minister said.
The Kurdish population in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria numbers between 12 to 20 million. Its elite Peshmerga military force has been active in fighting the Islamic State terrorist organization alongside U.S.-led coalition forces in Syria.
Kurds in northern Iraq have maintained their own elected Kurdistan Parliament in the Kurdistan Autonomous Region for decades.
A similar process is now underway to create another autonomous Kurdish region in northern Syria as well, along the Turkish border, shepherded by the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Party (PYD) and its People’s Protection Unit (YPG).
Turkey is bitterly opposed to this process and has taken every possible opportunity to attack this population on both sides of its border with Syria, despite the United States having armed the Syrian Kurds as an allied force in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist organization, insisting on classifying the group as terrorists.
However, Turkey has long expressed passionate support for the rogue Hamas terrorist organization that was spawned by the outlawed Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood organization that has metastasized throughout the Middle East. Hamas seized control over Gaza in 2007, ousting the Palestinian Authority’s leading Fatah faction in a bloody coup, and launching repeated attacks against Israel from the enclave since that time.
In recent years Hamas, which also enjoys generous patronage from Iran, and is allied with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, has formed alliances with Sinai Province – a branch of the Islamic State terrorist organization – and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon.