Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is allowing senior Hamas terrorists to plot attacks against Israel from Istanbul according to a report in The Telegraph.
Written transcripts of Israeli police interrogations with the group’s terror suspects reveal that senior operatives in Hamas are using Turkey’s biggest city to direct their operations in Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria. This includes an assassination attempt on the mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon, earlier this year.
Israel has repeatedly informed Turkey that Hamas is utilizing its territory to plot attacks. However last weekend, Erdogan met with the group’s leader, Ismail Haniyeh, as well as Turkish intelligence officials who maintain close contact with Hamas terrorist operatives in Istanbul. “We will keep on supporting our brothers in Palestine,” Erdogan said in a statement.
Western allies are already raising eyebrows over Ankara’s support for jihadist rebels in northern Syria as well as its loyalty to Nato after purchasing a Russian missile system.
In 2015, Ankara agreed in a US-brokered deal with Israel to stop Hamas from plotting attacks from its territory. However, Erdogan consistently failed to honor the agreement, according to Israeli officials. Although the two countries maintain diplomatic relations, tensions between Israel and Turkey took a turn for the worst following the 2010 Mavi Marmara raid. When that happened, a Turkish civilian boat filled with Hamas supporters tried to breach Israeli territorial waters. The raid resulted in the death of nine armed “activists” while 10 Israeli troops were injured. Each side blamed the other for the deaths however Israel eventually apologized and agreed to compensate the Turkish victim’s families following heavy pressure exerted from President Obama.
Last week, Breaking Israel News reported that Erdogan has accused Israel of executing ‘Palestinian’ children and senior citizens in the streets. Also earlier this month, Erdogan’s top advisor called for an ‘Islamic Army for Palestine’ and threatened to bomb Israel.