Sunday, December 22nd, 2013 TEL AVIV — Israel’s intelligence community has determined that Turkey became the lead financier of Hamas. Israeli sources said Turkey replaced Iran as the leading financial backer of Hamas since 2012.
The sources said the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has overseen the transfer of up to $250 million a year to Hamas, particularly the Islamic regime in the Gaza Strip.
‘The money is channeled mostly through private sources, but with full coordination with Erdogan and his aides,’ a source said.
The sources said Turkey has coordinated the cash transfers with another ally of Hamas. They said Erdogan was working with Qatar, which has been hosting the Hamas leadership since its expulsion from Syria in late 2011.
Turkey has been deemed the only NATO member to recognize Hamas. The sources said Ankara has hosted a Hamas presence, led by Salah Al Arouri, that facilitates operations and cash transfers, mostly to the West Bank.
In 2012, Qatar pledged $400 million to the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. But the sources said most of the money failed to arrive because of Doha’s crisis with the new military-backed regime in Cairo.
The sources said Israel has urged NATO members, particularly the United States, to stop Turkish funding of Hamas. They said the Turkish support was also undermining the Palestinian Authority, which directly controls about half of the West Bank.
Turkey was also said to have provided training to Hamas security forces. They said the Turkish training, provided by non-government elements aligned with Erdogan, was touted as efforts to enhance order in the Gaza Strip.
A 2011 report authored by the GMBDWeditor on the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood networks concluded:
The Gaza flotilla incident brought into sharp focus an even more significant long- term development: the growing relationship between the Erdogan government and the Global Muslim Brotherhood, which has given rise to some of the most notorious Islamist terrorist groups – from al-Qaeda to Hamas. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood, while the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip acted as the main axis for this activity.
In November 2012, we reported that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in Cairo for talks with Egyptian President Morsi. In January 2013, the same publication reported that a Turkish legal delegation headed by a lawyer tied to the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network has arrived in Gaza to “collect evidence on Israeli crimes.” In October 2013, Hamas leader political leader Khaled Mashaal (aka Kahled Meshaal) paid what was described as a “surprise visit” to Ankara in order to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The GMBDW reported in November hat a “Workshop on the situation of Palestinian refugees of Syria” was held at an Istanbul hotel.
The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and soon after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the newly-opened border to review Hamas military formations. A Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood. A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman revealed that a coalition of London-based Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, were behind the mass demonstrations staged to protest Israeli actions in the 2008 Gaza war and the Global Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish affiliates were also intimately involved, along with the Turkish government, in the June 2010 Gaza flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. Following a period of seeming ascension related to the period of Egyptian rule by the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization was forced to scramble to try and find other state sponsors after Mohamed Morsi was deposed as President. In September 2013, it appeared that Hamas had succeeded in re-establishing close ties with Iran.