Israel parliament discusses killings of Armenians

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s parliament has held a special session on whether to recognize the mass killings of Armenians as genocide, even as the government takes new steps to repair relations with Turkey.

Tuesday’s parliamentary debate came a day after senior Israeli officials wrapped up a round of reconciliation talks in Turkey. The countries pledged last month to reconcile after a three-year rift that has frozen once-warm relations.

Some 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around World War I. Turkey denies the deaths constituted genocide.

Ankara has reacted angrily to countries that have deemed the killings genocide. Israel has not taken a stance, but there are prominent voices who believe the government should do so.

One proponent, opposition lawmaker Zehava Galon, said the decision should not be connected to reconciliation talks.

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