Israeli Defense Minister Says Normalization With Turkey Unlikely While Turkey Hosts Hamas HQ

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Israeli media is reporting that according to the Israeli Defense Minister, normalization of ties with Turkey “may be impossible” while Turkey is hosting the Hamas overseas headquarters. According to the Times of Israel report:

February 11, 2016 Restoring the frayed ties between Turkey and Israel may be impossible while Ankara hosts Hamas’s overseas headquarters, Israel’s defense minister said Thursday.

‘Turkey is hosting in Istanbul the terror command post of Hamas abroad. We cannot accept this,’ Moshe Ya’alon told a press conference in Bern, Switzerland, where he is on an official visit.

‘The Turks support Hamas, and this needs to be discussed,’ he added.

‘I am not sure that it will be possible to reach an arrangement of relations with Turkey. Perhaps we’ll succeed, but they will have to address our conditions in order to overcome existing obstacles.’

Ya’alon used the press conference to downplay speculation over a forthcoming restoration of warm ties.

‘We didn’t initiate a deterioration in the relationship,’ he said. That deterioration ‘was a Turkish initiative, [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s initiative to deteriorate the relationship.’

Israel and Turkey ‘used to enjoy strategic relations, until the elections in which Erdogan was elected in 2002,’ Ya’alon charged. ‘Since the Mavi Marmara flotilla, we’ve tried hard to settle it. We failed. We tried again and again.’

Read the rest here.

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.

As we noted in our December 2015 post on the seeming normalization between Turkey and Israel, the Israeli motivations are not clear to the GMBDW, particularly the statements of Dore Gold, the director-general of the Israel Foreign Ministry who appears  to be a key figure in mediating the rapprochement. As we pointed out, Dr. Gold was responsible for the 2011 Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) report authored by the GMBDW editor which demonstrated that the Global Muslim Brotherhood, including at that time its Turkish components as well as the Turkish government and AKP ruling party, was deeply involved in the planning and preparation leading up to the first Gaza flotilla. That report also documented that since since 2006, Turkey has become a new center not only for Hamas but also for the Global Muslim Brotherhood which is implacably opposed to the existence of the Jewish State. Furthermore, the JCPA report detailed Erdogan’s own ideological ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood network, ties which date back to Erdogan’s affiliation with WAMY in the 1970s making it unlikely that he will ever accept the existence of the Israeli state. Confirming this analysis, as discussion of the Turkish-Israeli reconciliation was taking place, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was meeting in Istanbul with Khaled Meshaal, political leader of Hamas in exile.

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