Turkey Expels Hamas Operative Under US Pressure

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Israeli media is reporting that Turkey has expelled Hamas operative Saleh al-Arouri from the country. According to the Jerusalem Post report, the decision to expel  al-Arouri was made under American pressure:

The Turkish government has bowed to American pressure and ordered a senior Hamas official whom Israel accuses of organizing terrorist attacks in the West Bank to leave the country, Channel 10 is reporting on Friday.

Salah Aruri, a top Hamas operative who was released from an Israeli prison a few years ago, is in charge of rebuilding the Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank a year after Israeli security forces dismantled it prior to the war in Gaza.

According to Channel 10, the Ankara government, which has been sympathetic to Islamist organizations like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, agreed to Aruri’s ouster, which was one of the prerequisites for Turkey’s entry into the Western coalition against the Islamic State.

In recent months, Israeli officials approached Turkey and, despite the bitter relations between the two countries, asked Ankara to crack down on Hamas operatives there.

The London-based Arab-language daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi quoted Hamas officials as denying an earlier Israeli report indicating that Aruri was asked to leave Turkey.

Aruri first came into the Israeli public’s consciousness last year when he admitted that Hamas’ armed wing, the Kassam Brigades, was behind the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens Nafatli Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah in the West Bank.

He made the comments during a conference of Islamic clerics in Turkey. He praised the ‘heroic action of the Kassam Brigades who kidnapped three settlers in Hebron.'”

Read the rest here.

The GMBDW reported last month that Israeli security officials announced that they had broken up a Hamas cell in the West Bank that was in the planning stateless of a major terror attack and that was run by Saleh al-Arouri, the Turkey-based head of Hamas operations in the West Bank.

In November 2014, the GMBDW reported that that Israel had arrested dozens of members of a Hamas terror network said to be funded and directed by Hamas officials in Turkey. In August 2014, the GMBDW was the first to report that  that Salah al-Arouri, a Hamas military leader residing in Turkey, had admitted that the Hamas military wing was responsible for the kidnapping, an event which sparked the recent round of the Gaza conflict. Subsequent Israeli media reports say that Salah al-Aruri (aka Saleh al-Arouri), who is based in Turkey, was also the mastermind behind what has been described as a Hamas coup attempt in the West Bank that was intended to end the rule of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and spark a third intifada. False claims that the Israeli police had exculpated Hamas in connection with the crime were for a time a staple on websites linked to a or sympathetic to Hamas and/or the Muslim Brotherhood. We also reported in August 2014 that Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal had further confirmed that Hamas members were behind the West Bank killing of three Israeli teenagers.

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.

For more on Hamas, go here.

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