US Jewish media is reporting that Israel is blocking the exit of three Hamas operatives who are linked to Hamas’s HQ in Turkey. According to the report:
October 28. 2019 Interior Minister Aryeh Deri on Monday signed an order banning three Hamas operatives from leaving the country. The three are linked to the Hamas headquarters in Turkey, the order said. The three banned from leaving the country are Omar Zakariya Lotti Najib, Muhammad Diab Jamil Dwik and Salim Ashaq Abd al-Islam Jua’ba. The Ministry stated that intelligence material presented to Deri indicates that the three are Hamas activists “who threaten the security of the state.” Several of the terrorists released in the 2011 deal to release IDF soldier Gilad Shalit reestablished themselves in Turkey and now manage several Hamas operations from the country. They are tied to these operations. Deri noted that that the departure of these three from the country could “significantly harm the security of the state and increase the risk of terrorist activity in Israel,” and he therefore banned them from leaving.
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The article goes on to say that Hamas conducts a variety of operations in Turkey, including recruitment, intelligence, training, procurement and development of advanced weapons, fundraising, terrorist financing, as well as paying salaries and purchasing equipment and technology.
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 that Israel had arrested 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 a meeting between Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal and 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 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, we reported that al-Arouri was expelled from Turkey.
- In November 2014 we reported that Israel had arrested dozens of members of a Hamas terror network said to be funded and directed by Hamas officials in Turkey.