A document by the Turkish National Security Council defines Israel's policies as a threat to Turkish interests and policies, marking the first time Israel has been defined a potential threat by Turkey's most important body on national security.

According to the document, Israel's policies are destabilizing and leading to a regional arms race, so they are a threat to Turkey.

"This is not merely another statement by the prime minister or politicians, but a statement that is binding on the security forces," a Turkish source told Haaretz.

Defining Israel as a threat stems from Turkey's wish for a "zero problem" policy with its neighbors.

So any threat to this policy is by extension a threat to Turkey.

"The threats that are occasionally made about the need to strike Iran, Israel's policy in the territories and especially in Jerusalem, the impasse in the negotiations with the Palestinians, and the concerns about an Israeli attack in Lebanon - all these are part of the justification for defining Israeli policies as a threat in the region, and therefore a threat to Turkey," the source said.

In the document approved by the NSC on Wednesday, Syria, Bulgaria, Armenia and Georgia are not considered security threats to Turkey, but Greece continues to be because of the dispute over the territorial waters in the Aegean Sea.

Iran is only mentioned as part of Turkey's call for a nuclear-free Middle East.

President Abdullah Gul presides over Turkey's National Security Council; the panel includes the prime minister and the heads of Turkey's security forces.

The strategic threats defined in the document, known as the Red Book, make assessments over five-year periods and are used to determine security policy.