(JNS.org) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Monday’s shocking assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, which threatens to undermine relations between two major allies of Israel.
"Israel condemns the brutal assassination of Ambassador Andrey Karlov this evening in Ankara. We send our deepest condolences to his family and to the Russian people,” Netanyahu said in a statement issued by his office.
“The murder of a diplomat serves as a stark reminder of the need for the civilized world to come together in fighting the forces of terrorism," he said.
While Karlov was speaking at the opening ceremony of a photo exhibit at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, the gunman—identified in reports as 22-year-old Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas, who was dressed in a black suit and tie standing behind him—shot Karlov several times in the back.
A video of the assassination shows the gunman, after opening fire, shouting in Turkish, “Allahu akbar. Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria!” Three others were injured in the attack. The gunman was shot following the attack.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called the murder a clear “provocation aimed at undermining the normalization of Russia-Turkish relations as well as at undermining the peace process in Syria promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan—who has been working to repair relations with Russia after a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian fighter jet near the Syria-Turkish border in November 2015—echoed Putin’s statement, calling the assassination a “provocation on destroying the relationship between Turkey and Russia during this normalization process.”