Turkey has the right to defend itself and remove the threats along its borders, said the Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Monday. The statement came less than a week after the launch of Turkey’s anti-terrorism operation across its southern border, in northern Syria, meant to defend against the YPG/PKK terrorist threat to both Turkey and Syria’s territorial integrity. Hamas added that it “appreciates the Turkish positions on the Palestinian issue and support for the rights of the Palestinian people, the latest of which is the position of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the summit of the UN’s General Assembly.” At the UN in New York last month, Erdogan blasted Israeli policies aimed at taking away Palestinian territories. In its statement, Hamas reiterated its rejection of the “Zionist and American presence in the region” and affirmed “the unity and territorial integrity of the state of Syria.” Turkey last Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
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The GMBDW has previously reported on Turkish efforts to aid as well to provide a safe haven for Hamas operatives. Such efforts have included:
- In April 2017 we reported on Israel arresting the head of the Gaza branch of the Turkish state aid agency for providing funds and resources to Hamas’s military wing.
- In May 2016 we reported on Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal meeting with then Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
- In April 2016 we reported on Israeli claims that Turkey was hosting the Hamas overseas headquarters.
- In July 2015 we reported that Israeli security officials announced that they had broken up a Hamas cell in the West Bank that was in the planning stages 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 December 2015, the we reported that al-Arouri was expelled from Turkey.
- In November 2014 we 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.
A 2011 report authored by the GMBDW editor examined the role of the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in the background leading to the June 2010 Gaza Flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. Some of the conclusions of that report included:
- There is strong evidence for Turkish governmental involvement in the Gaza flotilla incident, with Turkish government support channeled through the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The IHH was not acting alone but rather was an integral part of a Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network.
- Although IHH [the flotilla main sponsor]declared that the flotilla was humanitarian in nature, the history of IHH suggests that it is not only a humanitarian organization…..Aside from these terrorist connections, this report demonstrates that IHH and the rest of the Turkish/MB network are in fact Islamist, politicized organizations.
- 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.
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.