Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voices support for Kurdish statehood, as Iraq reels from a radical Sunni insurgency which has been slowed by Kurdish forces. Deborah Gembara reports.
As animosity between Iraq's rival factions splinter the country, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his support for Kurdish statehood. SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU SAYING: "Regarding the Kurds, they are a fighting people that have proved their political commitment, political moderation, and deserve political independence." Israel has quietly maintained military and intelligence ties with the Kurds for decades, seeing in the minority ethnic group a buffer against shared Arab adversaries. (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU SAYING: "We should support international efforts to strengthen Jordan and support the Kurdish aspiration for independence." Israel's position, appeared to clash with that of its close ally, the U.S. Washington, and particularly Secretary of State John Kerry have pressed Kurdish leaders to stand with Baghdad.