Tags: Barack Obama | Israel | Middle East | War on Terrorism | Turkey | Hamas | base

NATO Member Turkey Becomes Base of Hamas Terror Operations

By    |   Wednesday, 25 February 2015 08:37 PM

Even as the Obama administration touts its deal with Turkey to arm and train Syrian rebels, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's regime is forging closer ties with the Hamas terror organization.

The administration has tried in recent months to persuade Erdogan to stop letting Hamas conduct military operations from Turkish territory, noting that Turkey is a NATO member and that "most" NATO members regard Hamas as a terrorist organization.

The pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has raised the issue in recent discussions with other NATO defense ministers, including last week when he attended a military exhibition in India.

Ya'alon portrayed Ankara's role in helping Hamas build its terrorist networks in the West Bank and Hamas-ruled Gaza as "a cynical game on the part of a NATO member state."

Hamas, which has located its headquarters for West Bank and Jerusalem operations in Istanbul, is involved, in part, in finding West Bank residents "who are studying in Turkey, Jordan, Syria and other Arab countries, with efforts also being made to recruit students from among the Israeli Arab population," the Israeli website Ynetnews reported Wednesday.

The student recruits undergo initial screening in Jordan and Turkey. Since Jordan does not allow Hamas military training in its territory, the recruits are brought to the jihadist group's headquarters in Istanbul.

The training is said to take place at a facility just outside Istanbul under the supervision of Turkish intelligence officials.

The headquarters is headed by Salah al-Arouri, a longtime Hamas operative who Israeli officials believe was behind last year's upsurge in kidnapping Israelis in the West Bank, which included the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers.

Israeli officials say the terrorists who murdered the teenagers were deployed to the West Bank by Hamas' headquarters in Turkey. They believe that many of the weapons in the hands of Hamas operatives in the West Bank were originally purchased by Hamas operatives in Turkey.

Hundreds of recruits are enlisted by Hamas each year, according to Ynet. They receive training in bomb-making, light-weapons use, and covert operations before they are sent to the West Bank to establish covert terror cells and carry out attacks.

In May and August, security forces in the West Bank arrested 93 terror operatives who were planning to carry out a series of attacks aimed at destabilizing and toppling the Palestinian Authority regime there.

The leader of the terror network was Riad Nasser, "a veteran Hamas operative who was working in conjunction with the headquarters in Istanbul," according to Ynet.

While Turkey denies playing host to Hamas' military leadership, it makes no secret of its hostility to Israel, declaring that its behavior is worse than that of Hitler.

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Even as the Obama administration touts its deal with Turkey to arm and train Syrian rebels, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's regime is forging closer ties with the Hamas terror organization.
Turkey, Hamas, base, terror, operations, NATO member, anti-Israel
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2015-37-25
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 08:37 PM
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