Turkey is having a hard time overcoming its Hamas habit, says Israeli newspaper
The reconciliation efforts between Israel and Turkey included a commitment by the latter to restrict Hamas' activity in its soil, however, Ankara is having a hard time for overcoming this habit, the Israel Hayom newspaper reported on Tuesday.
An indictment filed against an east Jerusalem resident Bilal Sub Laban on Monday, indicates that he was recruited by Hamas operatives in Turkey, the newspaper said. Sub Laban was instructed to meet up with a group of Turkish tourists visiting the Temple Mount and collect money from them for Hamas to use toward various purposes, it said.
Israel and Turkey have recently been making an effort to mend their relations that have been fractured for more than a decade over a string of disputed issues, including Turkey’s close ties with Hamas. The Islamist militant group which is designated as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and many more European countries, maintains an Istanbul office, that Tel Aviv says a reconciliation in relations with Ankara would only be possible if Turkey shuts it down. Israel also blames Turkey for providing funds and citizenship to senior Hamas officials.
Turkish tourists visiting the Temple Mount loaded with money “to disburse to Hamas is nothing new,” Israel Hayom said.
“Turkey did a good deed in thwarting planned Iranian attacks against Israelis in Istanbul, but when it comes to "do no harm," Turkey remains a magnet for Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups worldwide, of which Hamas is only one,” the newspaper said.
“The Turks still have a long way to go,” it said.