Turkey Gives Hamas Space to Plan Attacks on Israel
Hamas has reportedly been given the green light to plan attacks on Israel from Turkish soil, where many of the terror group’s leaders reside. According to Britain’s The Telegraph, Israeli security officials, during interrogations, found that Turkish authorities were allowing Istanbul-based Hamas members to concoct and direct plots targeting Israeli soldiers and civilians in Jerusalem and the West Bank. As one example, the newspaper cited a Hamas effort to recruit a Palestinian living in the eastern part of Jerusalem in order to assassinate the holy city’s mayor as well as Israel’s police commissioner. In this respect, The Telegraph claimed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had now fully reneged on a 2015 United States-mediated agreement with Israel to prevent Hamas from using Turkey as a launching pad for attacks on Israeli interests. The news outlet quoted a statement from Israel’s Foreign Ministry expressing “extreme concern” over the matter, whereas a Hamas spokesman called the accusations “baseless,” saying the “resistance activities” of the Gaza Strip’s rulers were being conducted “only in the land of occupied Palestine.” A Turkish official likewise dismissed the report and insisted that Hamas was “not a terrorist organization.” Earlier this week, Erdogan hosted Hamas chief Ismael Haniyeh in Ankara.