Institute for Contemporary Affairs
Founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation
- A decade has passed since the official opening of Hamas’ offices in Istanbul, and Turkey is courting Israel anew.
- Turkey collaborates with terror organizations on both the ideological and operational levels.
- Terrorists working on Turkish soil establish infrastructures and plan terror attacks against Israel.
- Hamas senior officials (most former inmates in Israel for terrorism who were released in a prisoner exchange) are operating from Turkey against Israel. Some have even been granted Turkish citizenship.
- In December 2021, Israeli security forces broke up Hamas-linked terror cells in Nablus (Shechem) and Hebron in the West Bank. On December 12, 2021, Israel’s Minister of Interior Ayelet Shaked signed an order banning the departure from the country of several known “senior Hamas activists” who, it was suspected, would link up with Hamas officials overseas.
- Turkey today seeks another reconciliation with Israel. Israel should demand “payment in advance,” meaning that the Turks must first act against the Hamas operatives on their soil and prove that they are preventing them from continuing to act against Israel.
- Only then will it be worth upgrading relations with Turkey to a level of understanding and cooperation – a goal that both sides certainly have an interest in promoting.
Introduction: Turkey Is Contributing to Hamas’ Military Empowerment
During the “Pioneers of Jerusalem” conference hosted by Turkey in December 2017, Maher Salah, Hamas’ former leader abroad, directly addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “The fate of your country is to disappear from the world, the fate of your kingdom is to be annihilated. I promise him [Netanyahu] that his country will not celebrate the 100th anniversary.”
A few days later, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan used Hamas terminology from the organization’s Charter when he invoked the “Trees and Stones” hadith.2 Erdoğan warned: “Those who think they own Jerusalem better know that tomorrow they will not even be able to hide behind trees.”
This hadith quoted in Article 7 of the 1988 Hamas Charter4 calls for Israel’s destruction. It deals with the Muslims’ ultimate war against the Jews: “Then the stones and the trees will say: ‘O Muslim, ‘o servant of God. There is a Jew hiding behind me; come and kill him.”
Hundreds of Terror Attacks and Attempted Attacks
But Erdoğan did not just settle for words and Hamas terminology. The year 2022 marks the 10th anniversary of the official establishment of the Hamas terror organization’s offices in Istanbul, and despite the official Turkish claims, not only Hamas’ political activity is involved. According to the Shabak (Israeli Security Agency), over the years, the Istanbul headquarters, branches, and operatives have directed hundreds of terror attacks and attempted attacks in Israel and the West Bank in particular. For many years, Turkey has relied on the distinction between Hamas’ “political wing” and its “military wing,” however, this rationalization, does not meet the test of reality.
After a decade of thwarting numerous terror attacks with seemingly connected to Hamas operatives in Turkey, early in 2018, Israel arrested (and subsequently deported) law professor Kamil Takli. He was recruited to Hamas by one of the freed prisoners from the Shalit deal, senior Hamas official Zaher Jabarin residing in Turkey. A protégé of Salah Arouri (at that time, head of Hamas’ West Bank operations), Jabarin was in charge of Hamas’ budget and helped enable – under Arouri’s guidance – widespread terror activity in the West Bank.5
Takli’s arrest, though preceded by other detentions, became, in Israel’s eyes, a milestone in the history of Turkey-Hamas collaboration, particularly with the publicity that Israel decided to give the development. An unusual announcement by the Shabak (which eluded the public’s attention) stated, for the first time, openly and officially, what until then, had only been whispered:
Turkey contributes to the military strengthening of Hamas via – inter alia – the SADAT Company that was established at the behest of Adnan Basha, an adviser who is close to Turkish administration officials. … The findings of the investigation underscore the fact that Hamas’ ramified economic and military activity in Turkey takes place unhindered as Turkish officials turn a blind eye and – on occasion – encourage it, and with the assistance of Turkish nationals, some of whom are close to the government.6
Indeed, most of Hamas’ activity in Turkey in recent years, has been led by a group of freed prisoners from the Shalit deal in 2011 who were expelled to Turkey or chose to move there. Some have even been granted Turkish citizenship.
Israel hoped that Turkey would honor the promise offered in the two countries’ reconciliation deal, signed in the aftermath of the May 2010 Marmara flotilla affair. On June 27, 2016, in two separate press conferences given by their heads of government, Israel and Turkey announced that they had reached a reconciliation deal. In one of its clauses, Turkey undertook to prevent the use of its territory for terror operations against Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that this promise included putting an end to the funding of terror activity. Along with the official declarations, the Israeli media reported Turkey’s undertaking. However, it was also announced that the Hamas offices would remain in Turkey, but they would engage solely in political activity. Of course, that promise remained solely on paper.
After a half-decade of ups and downs in Israel-Turkey relations, a further attempt at reconciliation is now on the agenda. This time the initiative comes from the Turkish side. According to assessments, Turkey is trying to break out of the international isolation that has befallen it, improve its standing with the Biden administration, and ameliorate the difficult economic situation within Turkey.7
This study will survey the Turkey-Hamas collaboration over the past decade, before and after the 2016 “reconciliation deal.” It will show that a further reconciliation deal or understandings and agreements between Israel and Turkey must entail Turkish steps to oust Hamas and put an end to the orchestration of terror from its soil. This time, such measures must precede a deal, understandings, and a further reconciliation, not merely be part of a future deal.
The Ideological Background of the Turkey-Hamas Collaboration8
In the spring of 2017, then-Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, in a speech at Tel Aviv University, described how President Erdoğan of Turkey viewed the role of Hamas: “Erdoğan is the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East. He calls it the New Ottoman Empire. Since the beginning of his rule, he has sought to become a sultan. He promotes his Islam by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, and not Fatah. He tries to achieve hegemony even in Europe through illegal immigration.”9
Indeed, in his own eyes, Erdoğan is the successor of Saladin and Suleiman the Magnificent, and the Turks are the “grandchildren” of those two. From time to time, Erdoğan invokes the dream of renewing the caliphate, and for him, Turkey defines itself as the representative of Muslim civilization. The Turkish president sees himself as the partner, patron, and protector of the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the Muslim world. His party, the Islamic Justice and Development Party, is close in its views to those of the Brotherhood and seeks to extend Turkish influence to lands that in the past were part of the Ottoman Empire and thereby restore the old glory.
Like Erdoğan, Hamas dreams of a Muslim revolution that will widen Islamic influence around the world. Hamas is also a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Erdoğan, as noted, now sees himself as a patron. The Turkish ruler has averred repeatedly in recent years that Hamas is not a terror organization. He described as “sisters,” a series of cities that the Ottoman Empire ruled in the past – Mecca, Medina, Cairo, and others. He has declared that “the world must know and understand that Ramallah, Nablus, Jericho, Rafah, Gaza, and Jerusalem, too, are sister cities whose residents are our brothers.” Thus, Erdoğan links his more distant vision of the caliphate to his concrete and primary concern with Jerusalem, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
See Turkish Government Music Video showing the Turkish military over the ages, Erdoğan as heir to the Ottoman and Seljuk Dynasties, and Turkish conquerors praying in Hagia Sophia Church (MEMRI).11
In the 1920s, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el Husseini, spread the rumor that Jews sought to destroy the al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. These charges became an effective means to recruit resources and volunteers.
Over the years, the Turkish president has also become complicit in the modern blood libel that accuses Israel and its institutions of seeking to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque or at least putting it in danger. This is a commonality among many in the Muslim world, including Hamas, and it has sparked numerous waves of terror. Erdoğan has made several statements on the issue. In 2016, he accused Israel of “attempting to take over the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and one must stand guard and prevent it from conquering the place with its drilling and archaeological digs.”12 In 2017, he asserted that “the filthy Zionists are polluting the Temple Mount”13 and “Israeli soldiers carelessly pollute the grounds of Al-Aqsa with their combat boots by using simple issues as a pretext and then easily spill blood there.”14
At a mass rally in 2018, the Turkish president declared, “We are facing a struggle against Zionist and Zionism. Even such a catastrophe, unfortunately, was not enough for Muslims to come to aid,” Erdoğan said as he criticized the Israeli violence against Palestinians.
“I separate Zionists from Jews. The main struggle is against Zionism and Zionists,” he said, adding: “Their hostility to Muslims is not at all forgiven.” “Israel has been doing whatever it wishes since 1947 and continues its way in the same reckless way today. We cannot unsee these facts. With the latest decision, the U.S. took, once again, the primacy of Jerusalem was attacked.” Erdoğan said while Al-Aqsa Mosque was increasingly becoming polluted by radical Zionist schemes, the Al-Khalil (Hebron Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs) mosque remains occupied, and all Muslims can do is condemn.”15
Over the years, Erdoğan has enabled the ongoing activity of the Turkish nonprofit group, “Our Heritage,” in Jerusalem, which aims to defend Al-Aqsa against the Israeli incursions and the alleged threat to demolish it. In the past, Our Heritage took part in transporting hundreds of thousands of Israeli Arabs to the Mount to defend Al-Aqsa. The Turkish group has held contacts with groups from the radical Northern Branch of the Israeli Islamic Movement that have acted on the Temple Mount to prevent and disrupt visits by Jews there, with the aim of “protecting Al-Aqsa” from Israel.16 Our Heritage is funded in part by TIKA, a Turkish governmental aid agency that is subordinate to the office of the Turkish prime minister.17
A conference held in Turkey on November 7, 2020, by the Forum of Turkish Muslim Scholars for Jerusalem attended by religious scholars and politicians from Turkey and the Muslim world at large, assigned Turkey a historic role in Jerusalem and Palestine, including deepening its penetration of the city. These goals were expressed in speeches by the participants and in the conference’s concluding announcement, which stated that Palestine has an Ottoman identity and that the Turkish people have a right to Jerusalem no less than the Palestinian people.
The announcement called to augment the Turkish presence in the city in different ways, such as promoting and overhauling the Ottoman Waqf facilities in the city and pursuing initiatives for twin cities and twin mosques. The announcement also condemned the Arab countries for normalizing relations with Israel and expressed hope that the Al-Aqsa Mosque would soon be freed from its defilement.
Erdoğan, for his part, sent his blessings to the participants, underlining his support for “the glorious resistance of the Muslim Brotherhood” and asserting that Turkey had served Jerusalem “for four hundred years.” In a speech at the conference, Khaled Mashal, former head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, praised Turkey under Erdoğan’s leadership. He called Turkey a “crucial partner” and lauded the fact that it is regaining its regional status of the days of the Ottoman caliphate.
Simultaneously, on November 7-8, 2020, the First Virtual Conference of Jerusalem Pioneers was held by elements affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey. Attended by Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Ahmad al-Raisoni, chair of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and Al-Aqsa preacher Ekrima Sabri. The conference particularly emphasized the support of the Palestinians’ jihad and armed struggle against Israel “with money and with weapons,” especially in the face of “the danger of normalization” between Arab countries and Israel, and claimed that such support is a religious obligation.19
The Turkey-Hamas collaboration, which has included transferring funds to Gaza and hosting Hamas offices and leaders on Turkish soil, is not only expedient; it stems first and foremost from an ideological affinity between Erdoğan and Hamas. Although the relations between the Turkish president and Hamas have known their ups and downs, what has helped maintain them to the present is both sides’ fealty to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Initial Hamas Infrastructure on Turkish Soil – Salah Arouri
It was Salah Arouri, now deputy chief of Hamas’ Political Bureau, who laid the infrastructure for Hamas’ activity in Turkey 10 years ago, including directing terror attacks against Israelis on the West Bank. Already in May 2014, Arouri, then head of Hamas’ military headquarters abroad, declared that resistance in the West Bank was steadily on the rise and would eventually lead to an all-out confrontation with Israel. He also expressed hope that “the resistance in the West Bank will manage to obtain rockets and use them similarly to how they are used from the Gaza Strip.” Arouri noted that “rockets have been manufactured in Gaza under a blockade, so in the West Bank, as well, one can overcome all the difficulties and manufacture rockets.”20
The general public in Israel was first exposed to Arouri’s name only three months later when he declared at the fourth conference of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, held in Turkey, that Hamas’ military wing was behind the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teenage boys in Gush Etzion (June 12, 2014). His words were read aloud and in the name of the leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashal. They were recorded without Arouri’s knowledge and uploaded to YouTube, where they created a great stir.21 Arouri portrayed the operation as part of Hamas’ ongoing efforts to ignite a new intifada. Despite Arouri attempt to repudiate the words, then-Defense Minister Yaalon called him “the man in charge of the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens” (Herzliya conference, 2015).
During those years, Arouri, as head of the West Bank region in Hamas’ military headquarters abroad, enjoyed the freedom of action in Turkey and orchestrated Hamas’ terror attacks in the West Bank.22
Salah Arouri, born in 1966 in the village of Arura, near Ramallah, and in the 1990s was one of the founders of the Hamas military wing in the West Bank. According to publications of the Shabak and the Intelligence and Terror Information Center, he was arrested by Israel in 1992 and sentenced to five years in prison for membership in a terror organization. Subsequently, he served additional prison sentences, and on March 30, 2010, was freed as part of a deal that was signed with him after a period of 18 months of incarceration. He first relocated to Jordan, then to Syria, where he resumed his terror activity. In Syria, Arouri was chosen as a member of Hamas’ Political Bureau, assigned the prisoners portfolio, and given a senior role in the negotiations that led to the Shalit exchange deal. When the civil war broke out in Syria and forced Hamas to evacuate its headquarters in Damascus, Arouri and some of his compatriots relocated to Istanbul and made it their home.
On the eve of the signing of the 2016 Turkey-Israel reconciliation deal, Arouri was asked to leave Turkey. He first found himself a home in Qatar, but amid Qatar’s crisis with the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia, he was forced to leave Doha and move to Lebanon, where he has enjoyed the protection of Hizbullah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah to this day. Arouri now lives Dahiya in the southern (Shiite) quarter of Beirut, Hizbullah’s stronghold in Lebanon. Over the years, he has become the link between Iran and Hizbullah on the one hand and Hamas on the other. In November 2018, the U.S. State Department announced a $5 million reward for information that would help lead to Arouri’s capture. They explained that he was one of the founders of the Hamas military wing, collaborating with the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, mobilizing funds, directing Hamas military operatives in the West Bank, and linked to several terror attacks including kidnappings.23
Since replacing Mousa Abu Marzook as deputy chair of the Hamas Political Bureau, Arouri has played a central role in the sporadic talks, mediated by Egypt, on an “arrangement” with Israel. He speaks fluent Hebrew, which he learned and polished during his many years of incarceration in Israel. In September 2017, Russia hosted Arouri as part of a Hamas delegation that came to Moscow for talks with Deputy Foreign Minister for Middle East Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov.24 In June 2017, then-Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told Nikki Haley, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, that Arouri, who had made his way to Lebanon, aimed to continue trying to direct terror attacks against Israel. He called him “a dangerous terrorist who is responsible for lethal Hamas attacks against Israel, who must not be allowed to continue with his actions.”
In September last year, in an interview to the Al-Midan television station in Lebanon, Arouri said that in the next conflict with Israel, “the losses and the results on the ground will be unprecedented, the occupation will pay an unprecedented price, and the enemy will be surprised by the capabilities of the resistance…. The Israeli home front will be part of the war.” He added that Hizbullah was helping all the Palestinian factions, including Fatah.25
Shalit-Deal Deportees (and Others) – the Backbone of Hamas Activity in Turkey Today26
Ten of the terrorists who were released from Israeli prisons in October 2011, as part of the deal for the freeing of the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from a Hamas prison, were exiled to Turkey. Despite “promises” in the Turkish media that they would be under the supervision of Turkish intelligence, these Hamas operatives and some of their comrades, enjoy complete freedom. The following are the main figures:
Husam Badran was freed in the Shalit deal and is a native of Nablus. In 2004, he was sentenced in Israel to 17 years in prison for his involvement in suicide bombings, during the second Intifada. In December 2013, after his expulsion, he was appointed official spokesman of Hamas abroad. He was also involved in directing a terror infrastructure in the Hebron area in March 2013. A Shabak announcement said Badran had transferred funds totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars for terror activities in Nablus.
Mousa al-Akari was a cell member that kidnapped and murdered Israeli Border Police officer Nissim Toledano in December 1992. Al-Akari was sentenced to three life terms, released in the Shalit deal, and expelled to Turkey. His brother, Ibrahim al-Akari, carried out a ramming attack at the Jerusalem light-rail station in November 2014. Israel considers Mousa al-Akari a Hamas operative who works from Turkish soil.
Zaher Jabarin is head of Hamas’ Finance Bureau. He was involved in the Prof. Kamil Takli affair in which the law professor was recruited in Turkey and arrested in Israel. He works at Hamas headquarters in Turkey, where he directs and funds West Bank terror.
Salamah Mari is a Hamas operative in Turkey whose name is also linked to Prof. Takli. Mari was freed in the Shalit deal. He was imprisoned for his involvement in a shooting attack in the Burqin area in March 1993 which an IDF soldier was killed.
Jihad Yaghmour is a Hamas operative originally from Beit Hanina in Jerusalem. He was involved in kidnapping the soldier Nachshon Wachsman in 1994, sentenced to life in prison, and expelled to Turkey in the Shalit deal. According to an Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center publication from December 24, 2019, Yaghmour, living in Turkey, has “served as a liaison to the Turkish government and the Turkish intelligence service MIT.” According to the experts of the Amit Center, Yaghmour is also involved in covert activities, mainly the handling of terrorist squads in Judea and Samaria. As cover for Yaghmour’s activity in Turkey, he serves as president of a cultural organization called the “Association for Jerusalem and Its History.”
Abd al-Rahman Ranimat is a former head of a Hamas cell in the Surif area in the West Bank responsible for several severe terror attacks in Israel, including the 1997 Café Apropos bombing in Tel Aviv, which killed three. Ranimat, too, was freed in the Shalit deal, first expelled to Gaza, and later moved to Turkey where he became the senior aide to Hamas commander Mazen Fukha. In March 2017, Fukha was assassinated in Gaza; Hamas claimed the Mossad was behind the attack.
Kamel Awad is a Hamas financial officer. In August 29, 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department placed him on the Counter-Terrorism Designation list.27 Awad, too, relocated from Turkey to Gaza (he was not among those freed in the Shalit deal).
Abd al-Hakim Hanani, according to Hamas sources, is in charge of a surveillance center in Istanbul for media and communications that provides intelligence to Hizbullah and Iran. Hanani, a crony of al-Arouri’s, was compelled to leave Turkey because of American and Israeli pressure. Hanani was involved in sending Hamas’ first suicide bomber to the Mehula intersection in the early 1990s.28
Hamas: The Stumbling Block to Turkish-Israeli Reconciliation
On the eve of the signing of Israel’s reconciliation deal with Turkey in 2016, Shurat haDin, an Israeli human rights organization that works on the legal front against terror entities, petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court against the deal.29 Although the petition was rejected, it included interesting details that add a further layer to the information on Hamas activity in Turkey. Among others, it mentions the following Hamas personnel who operate or have operated on Turkish soil:30
Mahmoud Atwan, originally from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher, freed in the Shalit deal, member of the cell that kidnapped and murdered Border Police officer Nissim Toledano in 1992; Majid Abu Katish, originally from Anata, also a member of that cell; Taiser Suleiman, expelled in the Shalit deal, murdered an Israeli soldier; Fahad Sabri Barhan al-Shaludi, appears from time to time on Turkish television; Walid Zakaria Akel, a founder of Hamas’ Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, was given 21 life sentences; Haroun Mansour Yakoub Nasser al-Din, boasted in the past that Turkey grants former Hamas prisoners full freedom to come and go as they please; Ayman Mohammad Abu Khalil; Bakri Hanifa, a senior economic figure in Hamas claimed to have transferred millions of dollars from Qatar to Hamas via Turkey; and Maher Abid, a member of Hamas’ Political Bureau and senior financial operative, reportedly in charge of Hamas’ international relations until 2016.31
In her petition, Israeli attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the head of Shurat haDin, referred to the narrow and invisible line between “political Hamas” and “military Hamas,” as other Israeli courts had noted. Darshan-Leitner wrote: “Any agreement that accepts a distinction between the military wing and the political wing of a terror organization will end up strengthening the military wing and the organization’s terror activity, since, after all, the whole purpose of the ‘political wing’ is to buttress the military wing’s ability to operate and engage in terror attacks. And if the political wing is granted mitigating conditions and ‘breathing space,’ that will only boost the terror organization’s activity as a whole, and most of all its military wing.”32
15 Examples of Hamas Terror Infrastructures, Attacks, and Attempted Attacks Directed from Turkish Soil
The roots of Hamas activity on Turkish soil go back to the infamous Marmara flotilla in 2010. The Turkish organization IHH, which was in charge of the Marmara flotilla and was declared a terror organization in Israel,33 directly assisted with the funding of the Hamas military wing in Gaza. The head of the IHH branch in Gaza, Mehmet Kaya, transferred cash from Turkey to the Hamas senior officials Ismail Haniyeh and Raed Saad. These funds served, among other things, to build a naval-training facility at a Hamas base in Gaza and to purchase weapons and equipment. As a Shabak investigation revealed, “The IHH transferred to the Hamas military wing, systematically and for years, funds that served to strengthen Hamas militarily.”3435
January 2010 – Attacks thwarted at the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem, the central bus stations of Jerusalem and Beersheba, and the Tel Hashomer military base. Marad Namer of Sur Baher, Jerusalem and Marad Kamel of Wadi Joz, Jerusalem, were arrested at the central bus station in Beersheba. Their interrogation revealed that they were recruited by the Hamas headquarters abroad during their studies and work in Jordan and Dubai. Namer met with Hamas members in Turkey. The two were supposed to receive weapons and explosives from their handlers abroad. According to a Shabak announcement on January 3, 2010, they gathered intelligence that included photographs and sketches of potential sites for an attack, including the central bus station in Jerusalem as well as sites in Mevaseret Zion (near Jerusalem), Beersheba, the Malha Mall in Jerusalem, the area of hotels and seafront in Tel Aviv, and the area of the Tel Hashomer military base, which was crowded with soldiers.36
April 2014 – Mahmoud Tuama revealed Hamas’ activity on the Temple Mount, its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, and ongoing activity of Hamas’ headquarters and senior officials in Turkey. Tuama, who was originally from Tulkarem in the West Bank and lived in Saudi Arabia, was arrested on April 14. During his interrogation, he described how Hamas uses the Israeli Islamic Movement as a front organization to promote its goals in Jerusalem, focusing on the Temple Mount and payment of the salaries of the Islamic Movement’s operatives there. Another goal was disrupting visits by Jews to the site. Tuama was one of the first to testify in Shabak interrogations regarding Turkey’s absorption of most of the Shalit-deal deportees and was providing them financial support.37
May-August 2014 – A coup attempt against the Palestinian Authority and significant terror attacks in Israel were thwarted. All were planned by Hamas-Turkey. Hamas’ military infrastructure, operating all over the West Bank to recruit military cells and carry out attacks against Israeli targets, attempted to enlist hundreds of people. The ninety-three individuals who were connected to the plan were arrested. The infrastructure’s activity was directed by the Hamas headquarters in Turkey, of which Salah Arouri was in charge. Before their arrest, some of the operatives of this infrastructure succeeded in planting explosive devices in Samaria.
The training for the different tasks, including terror attacks, kidnappings, attacks on settlements, and the planting of explosive devices, were supervised by Hamas military wing operatives abroad and in Gaza. The training was conducted in Jordan, Turkey, Syria, and Gaza. As part of Hamas’ plans, terror cells from Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, Jericho, and another 37 Palestinian villages were supposed to carry out terror attacks against Palestinian Authority institutions as part of the coup attempt to take over the West Bank.
When the infrastructure was uncovered, Hamas terror funds totaling more than 600,000 shekels were seized along with a variety of weaponry including 24 rifles, six pistols, seven rocket launchers, storerooms, and a large quantity of ammunition. The military infrastructure was headed by Riad Nasser, a resident of Dir Qadis in the Binyamin region of the West Bank. Nasser was one of the Hamas chiefs in Ramallah and had served several prison sentences for Hamas military activity. His recruiter was Arouri, then living in Turkey.
The dozens of detainees planned a series of major terror attacks against Israel. These would mainly have been perpetrated by the Jerusalem branches of the cell, to which many operatives were recruited by former prisoners, students, and academics. Emphasis was placed on specializations in chemistry and engineering. Among the prominent detainees involved in this endeavor were, according to the Shabak, Dr. Majdi Mafarja, a resident of Beit Liqya with a degree in computers who was recruited in Malaysia; Mahmoud Abu Daoud, a resident of Hebron who admitted involvement in recruiting military cells to carry out kidnappings, planting of explosives, and shootings; and Yihye Ata of Deir Abu Mashan, who admitted in his interrogation that he was recruited by Arouri to head a military cell.38
August 20, 2014 – Arouri takes responsibility for the kidnapping and murder of the three teenage boys. He gave a speech that day to the fourth conference of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, which was held in Turkey, and said that the Hamas military wing was behind the kidnapping and murder of the three boys from Gush Etzion on June 12, 2014.
As noted, his words were read from a page, in the name of Khaled Mashal, a Hamas leader, and recorded without Arouri’s knowledge and uploaded to YouTube, where they reached a large audience. This was the first time Hamas admitted its involvement in the kidnapping and murder. A short time afterward, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the fact that Turkey was hosting Arouri at that time was “incredible.”
September 2014 – An extensive Hamas military infrastructure in the West Bank was broken up, along with the terror attacks planned at Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium and the light rail in Jerusalem. They were planned by the Hamas headquarters in Turkey. The Hamas military infrastructure in the West Bank, uncovered by the Shabak, was aimed at recruiting military cells and mounting terror attacks against Israeli targets. Its activity was directed by the Hamas headquarters in Turkey, and its Hamas operatives were trained abroad and infiltrated into the territory. More than 30 operatives were arrested, and M16 rifles, ammunition, and materiel for producing explosives were seized. Some of the operatives of this cell had carried out the bombings at the Rechelim Intersection and the Jit intersection (without casualties) in Samaria on August 31, 2014.
The detainees’ interrogation revealed that after a process of recruitment, usually in Jordan, training was conducted in several countries, including Turkey. The recruits went to Gaza, sometimes through smuggling tunnels, for further courses. “In Turkey,” according to the Shabak’s findings, “they focused on planning the military operations: a combination of different types of activity aimed at carrying out terror attacks on targets in Israel, the West Bank, and abroad…. After the military training, the operatives were integrated into the various spheres of activity, according to the distribution and staffing of that was conducted by senior Hamas officials in Turkey.”
The detainees planned to attack traffic arteries with firearms and explosives, as well as settlements and military facilities in the West Bank; infiltrate and attack Israeli communities; kidnap Israelis in the West Bank and abroad; mount attacks within Israel by recruiting military cells in Jordan and training them for infiltrations; attack the Teddy Stadium and the light rail in Jerusalem, and perpetrate car-bomb attacks. Among the main detainees: Manaf Ajbara, a resident of Jordan, and Mahmoud Melhem of Anabta/Tulkarem.39
March 2015 – Hamas trained Palestinian students in Malaysia for terror activity on the West Bank. Some of the training was conducted in Turkey. An indictment served to the Judea Military Court charged Wasim Kawasme, a resident of Hebron, with crimes of membership and activity in an outlawed organization, making contact with the enemy, and receiving enemy funding.
In the framework of the training in Malaysia, Kawasme went to a weeklong course that Hamas organized in Turkey. During his visit, he heard, along with other Hamas operatives, a lecture by the head of the Hamas network abroad at that time, Muhammad Nazal.40
October 2015 – The murder of Eitam and Na’ama Henkin was directed from Turkey. The Henkins were murdered in a shooting attack on October 1 at the Beit Furik intersection between Elon Moreh and Itamar. The two were shot from close range by a Hamas operative and died on the spot in front of their children. The attack was planned by Hamas operative Ragheb Ahmad Muhammad Aliwi, who recruited a cell of four Nablus residents and provided them with weapons. The attack was orchestrated by the Hamas headquarters in Turkey.41
January 2017 – Hamas operatives in Istanbul instructed Malik Kazmar on how to recruit operatives for the organization in Israel. Kazmar’s interrogation revealed that he was recruited for Hamas service in August 2015 while living in Jordan. In January 2016, he was sent for training at a camp in Syria and, at the start of 2017, was given further instructions by Hamas operatives in Istanbul. In the course of his interrogation, Kazmar turned over the contents of a memory card he had received from his handlers on Turkish soil. These had been concealed with the help of special software that contained security instructions. The contents were designed to help him carry out his plans. An indictment against Kazmar was served in March 2017 at the Military Court in Samaria.42
February 2017 – Muhammad Murtagha, director of TIKA in Gaza, a Turkish-government humanitarian aid organization, defrauded his organization and funneled aid to Hamas terror operatives instead of needy people. He was arrested on his way to Turkey, where he planned to obtain information that would help Hamas improve the precision of its rockets. The investigation of the affair uncovered the fact that Murtagha was supposed to go from Gaza to Turkey to receive satellite photos of sensitive sites in Israel, thereby improving the precision of rockets in Hamas’ possession. On February 12, 2017, he was arrested on his way to Turkey, where he was to copy the maps and photos onto a USB flash drive, bring them to Gaza, and convey them to the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades.
During his interrogation, it further emerged that the Turkish IHH organization had helped to directly fund Hamas military activity. Israel had declared IHH a terror organization in 2008 because of its support for Hamas. Murtagha’s interrogation revealed that Mehmet Kaya, head of the IHH branch in Gaza, had transferred to Hamas senior officials Ismail Haniyeh and Raed Saad cash that had come from Turkey and was designated for the Hamas military wing. These funds served, among other things, to build a naval-training facility at a Hamas base in Gaza and to purchase equipment and weapons. In this fashion, the Shabak said, the IHH systematically funded the Hamas military wing for years.
Murtagha’s interrogation further revealed that beginning in 2009, he had operated within the Hamas military wing. This activity included military training, production of weapons and explosive devices, and the digging of terror tunnels. Murtagha also stored hand grenades and rifles in his home.43
In light of Murtagha’s arrest, the Shabak clarified that “Hamas’ various ways of deceiving the international community and humanitarian aid organizations had been revealed. These deceptions, in which senior officials of the organization are involved, enable the diversion of funds and resources that are intended to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip and its needy population. Hamas thereby gains wider room to maneuver as it exploits all its material and economic resources for purposes of terror activity and military empowerment.”44
February 2018 – The Prof. Takli Affair. Funds for the “Army of Palestine” and liaison with Turkish officials. This affair is of great importance because it shows how much Turkish officials and Hamas senior officials in Turkey are intertwined. Its details make it hard for the Turkish authorities to claim a lack of knowledge about Hamas activity in their country.
The two main characters of the affair are law professor Kamil Takli of Istanbul, who visited Israel as a tourist and member of a delegation of Turkish lawyers, and Daram Jabarin, a resident of Umm al-Fahm. The two were recruited for Hamas service by Zaher Jabarin, one of those freed in the Shalit deal who resides in Turkey. Jabarin directs Hamas’ budget from Turkey. Under the guidance of Arouri (who lived in Lebanon), Jabarin also promoted extensive West Bank terror activity from his place of residence in Turkey.
Takli revealed in his interrogation that Hamas operates in Turkey in close contact with Turkey’s top leadership and that senior Turkish officials help strengthen the Hamas militarily through the SADAT Company. With money and weapons, the company helps build the “Army of Palestine.” According to Israeli Arab-affairs commentator Pazit Ravina and other sources, “The SADAT Company was established in 2013 by General Adnan Tanreverdi, former head of the Special Forces of the Turkish army, under the inspiration of none other than Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Tanreverdi, who was dismissed from the Turkish army in 1997 because of his Islamist activity, eventually became one of Erdoğan’s close advisers. Since then, mutual trust and deep ideological affinity have prevailed between the two.”45
According to a Shabak document: “The investigation of Kamil Takli revealed that Turkey is contributing to the military empowerment of Hamas, among other things through the SADAT Company, which was established under the guidance of Adnan Basa, the close adviser to Turkish government officials.”
The company was founded to help provide money and weapons to the “Army of Palestine,” whose purpose is to fight Israel. One of the company’s employees also helped Hamas senior officials visit a weapons exhibit in Turkey in 2015, during which they expressed interest in drone capabilities.
Hamas, it further emerged during the interrogation, maintains close ties with the Turkish authorities via Jihad Yaghmour, the terror operative involved in the kidnapping and murder of the Israeli soldier, Nachshon Wachsman. Yaghmour, too, was freed as part of the Shalit deal. Yaghmour resides in Turkey.
The interrogation also found that in 2012, Takli was asked to help newly arrived Hamas operatives in Turkey to get settled and established economically. The terror operatives whom Takli helped, most of them freed in the Shalit deal, were involved in attacks that killed Israelis. Takli helped them obtain visas, deal with rentals, purchase real estate assets for residence and businesses, fancy vehicles, and establish a sound business footing in Turkey by registering companies under his name.
The Shabak’s investigation revealed extensive Hamas money-laundering in Turkey under the supervision of Zaher Jabarin, with the authorities turning a blind eye to the source of the funds. The investigation also found that Hamas operatives owned a company named Imas, which served Hamas by camouflaging money-laundering activity involving sums of millions of dollars that were transferred to Gaza and different countries.
The Shabak noted that an account for Imas was opened at one of Turkey’s largest banks, Akbank and that the company’s director-general opened another account under his name at the Turkey Finance Bank.46
The Investigation of Daram Jabarin
But Tikli was only one character in the story: “The Imas Company’s importance for Hamas was also revealed in the interrogation of the second suspect, Daram Jabarin,” according to the Shabak. “Jabarin was recruited to Hamas by a relative, Zaher Jabarin, during the former’s visit to Turkey. The appeal to him was made under the cover of Imas’ business activity. For a year-and-a-half, Daram made frequent visits to Turkey and was asked by his handler to convey Hamas funds from Turkey to the West Bank. The handler in Turkey gave Daram hundreds of thousands of euros destined for Hamas terror cells, and he took care to hide them well in the West Bank. In a search of Daram’s house in the Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm, a sum of 91,000 euros was seized, which he intended to transfer to the West Bank.”
A Shabak investigation further found that Daram acted under the guidance of Hamas senior officials together with Zaher Jabarin and his right-hand man Salama Mari, both of whom had settled in Turkey with Takli’s help. As noted, in March 1993, Salama Mari, later freed in the Shalit deal, was involved in a shooting attack in the Burqin area which killed an IDF soldier. The investigation led to the arrests of other suspects who were Umm al-Fahm residents and had helped Daram financially.
After his interrogation, Kamil Takli was expelled from Israel; Daram Jabarin, for his part, was put on trial.
“The investigation’s findings,” the Shabak stated, “illustrate Hamas’ extensive military and economic activity in Turkey, which is conducted undisturbed. The Turkish authorities turn a blind eye and sometimes even encourage it, and with the help of Turkish citizens, some of whom are close associates of the government. This activity is supported, among other things, by business platforms that enable Hamas to launder funds that are transferred to the West Bank and to recruit Israelis to its activity.”
May 2017 – A cell of the Islamic Movement that planned to attack soldiers in the Negev made contact with Hamas-Turkey for guidance and financial assistance. Two members of the cell, Muhammad Masri of Beersheba and Abdullah Abu Ayyash of Kuseifa, had been put on trial a year earlier. Their friend, Mahmoud Lawisi of Qalansawe, then living in Turkey, was arrested immediately upon arriving in Israel in March 2017. It turned out that the members of the cell turned to Faris al-Umari, a resident of Sendal for approval of the attack. Al-Umari went to Turkey late in October 2016 and met there with Majid Abu Katish, a Hamas senior official who was among those freed in the Shalit deal. Al-Umari asked him for financial aid and guidance for terror attacks he had planned.47
May 2018 – Two members of the Sur Baher (near Jerusalem) cell that planned terror attacks near the settlement of Oranit, visited Turkey. One of them was given hundreds of thousands of shekels in terror funds. The cell was headed by Nasim Hamada. Its members, according to the Shabak, were Izaddin Atun and Oveida Amira. Hamada was in contact with Hamas operatives who had been expelled to Gaza in the Shalit deal. Izaddin Atun and Oveida Amira had already met in Turkey in 2017 with two of the Hamas operatives expelled in the Shalit deal, Mahmoud Atwan and Musa Akari. In this meeting, Izaddin received terror funds from Hamas, totaling thousands of dollars.
July 2018 – Erdoğan intervenes to free a female Turkish citizen imprisoned in Israel on suspicion of terror infractions. After governmental contacts between Turkey and Israel, Ebru Özkan, age 27, who was charged with transferring funds to Hamas, was freed and returned to her country. The Turkish president’s close advisor, Ibrahim Kalin, tweeted that Erdoğan welcomed her return. Turkish media quoted Özkan as thanking Erdoğan for taking a personal interest in her case.48
August 2018 – A Hamas infrastructure was discovered in the Hebron area that included many women. This infrastructure was assisted by Hamas-Turkey. It was led by Nizar Shehada and Faris Abu Sharakh, two senior Hamas operatives who had made use of a number of women to set up a central committee that would serve as a command arm of the organization. The women’s committee was headed by Dina Karami, wife of Nisat Karami, who was involved in a 2010 terror attack that killed four residents of Beit Hagai and was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli forces. Several women of the organization were sent for meetings with members of the Hamas headquarters who had been expelled in the Shalit deal. This branch is headed by Haroun Nasser al-Din, who lives in Turkey. The women were given terror funds, messages, and instructions.
May 2019 – The Telegraph: Hamas-Turkey planned to assassinate then-Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, then-Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, and former Member of Knesset Yehuda Glick. Based on transcripts of interrogations of suspects in Israel and on indictments that were served against three east Jerusalem residents, Adham Muslamani, a Jerusalem resident, met with senior Hamas agent Zakaria Najib in Istanbul in February 2019. The latter told Muslamani that if he wanted to be remembered, he had to kill a senior Israeli official. Najib, the report said, suggested that Muslamani assassinate Barkat, Alsheikh, or Glick and also offered him funds as well as weapons training in Turkey. After the meeting, Muslamani returned to his home in the Shuafat refugee camp in east Jerusalem, tried to purchase a pistol, but was arrested by the Shabak.49
The Money Trail
Besides hosting Hamas offices and senior officials who planned terror attacks, Turkey has also become a safe haven for Hamas’ financial affairs, including funding terror organizations in the West Bank. In a report published by the U.S. Treasury Department on September 10, 2019, the United States announced that it had “designated 15 leaders, individuals, and entities affiliated with terror groups.”50 The list included operatives and companies based in Turkey that were involved in transferring funds to Hamas. The report revealed that Hamas operatives and collaborators in Turkey engage in fundraising, transferring money to the military wing in Gaza, funding terror organizations in the West Bank, and running money-changing and fund-transferring companies in Turkey through which terror funds are laundered. The information published by the Treasury Department shows that the main source of financial support to Hamas via Turkey (and sometimes via Lebanon) is Iran. The Treasury’s efforts to “disrupt terrorist activity by depriving terrorist supporters of financial, material, and logistical backing worldwide… serves as an important tool in [U.S.] efforts to drain the financial resources of the Iranian regime’s malign actors including the IRGC, and its foreign expeditionary arm, the Qods Force (IRGC-QF).”51
The Treasury Department lists the Redin Exchange Company, based in Turkey, as responsible for having “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to, HAMAS. …As of March 2019, the Redin Exchange and financial facilitator, Muhammad Sarur, were involved in a $10 million dollar transfer to Hamas’ operational arm, the Izz-Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades.”
The U.S. agency named Redin’s Deputy Director, Ismail Tash, for maintaining a “steady contact with Hamas collaborators for transferring funds from Iran to Hamas.” The report also fingered Zaher Jabarin, the Hamas senior official living in Turkey, as the recipient of $5.5 million from Redin.
Jihad Yaghmour – Hamas’ Official Representative in Turkey
Jihad Yaghmour is Hamas’ official representative in Turkey. Involved in the kidnapping of the soldier Nachshon Wachsman and sentenced to life in prison, Yaghmour was expelled to Turkey as part of the Shalit deal. Although his official post there is president of the Jerusalem and Our History Association, some experts argue that is only a cover. Yaghmour was also involved in “activating terror cells in the West Bank under the direction of Salah Arouri.”
Yaghmour’s ties with the Turkish authorities are almost overt. On December 14, 2019, he accompanied a Hamas delegation headed by Ismail Haniyeh that visited Turkey and, that month, met with the deputy chair for foreign affairs of the Justice and Development Party. In May 2019, Yaghmour accompanied Khaled Mashal, chairman of Hamas’ Political Bureau, to a meeting with a senior member of the Justice and Development Party in Turkey. In Shabak interrogations of detainees in Israel, Yaghmour’s name arose as the main liaison between Turkey and Hamas.
An analytical report on November 27, 2019, by the Investigative Journal channel identified Yaghmour as the conduit between Hamas and the Turkish government. The Telegraph reported in December 2019, that Yaghmour was maintaining daily contacts with the Turkish intelligence service. This bureau cooperates with Western intelligence agencies in the fight against terror and is responsible for conveying intelligence information to a series of Turkish officials – from President Erdoğan to the prime minister, the chief of staff, the secretary-general of the National Security Council, and other Turkish organizations.52
Turkey Denies Any Connection to Terror
Turkey has repeatedly denied that it allows Hamas to operate from its territory against Israel. “We firmly reject the accusation that the Turkish territory is being used for any action against Israel or any other country,” declared the Turkish Foreign Ministry in December 2019. The Ministry further argued that Turkey and other countries do not consider Hamas as a terrorist group “but as a political reality which has won the elections in Gaza back in 2006…. It is worth mentioning that last year the U.N. General Assembly refused to define Hamas as a terror organization. A series of countries including Turkey maintain ties with Hamas at various levels.”53
Erdoğan himself, insisted in a media interview, that Hamas is not a terrorist movement and that its members are not terrorists but “people who defend their land.” Senior officials in Ankara strongly reject what they claim is an assortment of unproven allegations.54 “There are no such secret terror cells in Turkey that carry out terror attacks,” they argue. “Hamas leaders in Turkey were sent by Israel as part of the Shalit deal.”
Turkish diplomats reportedly reacted “angrily” to Israeli claims that Turkey was hosting Hamas’ terror headquarters in Istanbul.55 “This,” they say, “is a lie and a falsehood. It is a figment of imagination. There are elements in Israel who are trying to torpedo, at any price, efforts to iron out the differences in the relations between the two countries and begin a fresh page. They put forward lies that Hamas operates in Turkey with the government’s knowledge. Turkey conducts a dialogue with Hamas, but in no way allows any terror organization to operate from its territory.”56
Conclusion and Recommendation: Israel Must Demand Turkey’s Uprooting of the Hamas Terror Organization in Turkey Prior to the Improvement of Relations
Ten years is a sufficient period to study Turkey’s behavior with regard to Hamas. The facts are clear. There is no gray area; the picture is black-and-white. The Hamas terror organization is hosted on Turkish soil, and from there, it directs, with the knowledge of the Turkish authorities, terror operations against Israel.
The root of this dispute with Turkey is its twisted definition of Hamas. Whereas Israel correctly defines it as a terror organization, Turkey pleads innocent and asserts that Hamas operatives on its soil are functionaries of “Hamas’ political wing.” Contrary to this Turkish definition, a legal Israeli ruling concerning Hamas’ Dawa [social welfare] activity, which provides social, community, and religious services to an Arab population, invalidated it on the grounds that a civilian infrastructure would clearly facilitate the entrenchment of Hamas terror.
Israeli Judge Amnon Cohen of the Jerusalem District Court wrote when convicting three Hamas operatives who served as heads of Hamas’ Advisory Council in Jerusalem: “This is Hamas’ way of inculcating the ideology of a terror organization and sustaining it, thereby also widening the circle of its supporters. This extensive array of services, despite its ostensibly humanitarian purpose, is intended to expand the terror organization’s base of public support and create economic dependence on it among the population, as well identification and commitment to its path and its values.”57
The same logic can be applied to the activity of the “Hamas political wing” in Turkey. The facts presented here, and others in the hands of Israel’s security services, show that it is not just a “political wing” that could develop into a military wing, but a “political wing” that serves as a cover for a military wing.
Turkey’s courtship of Israel in an attempt to repair relations gives Israel a golden opportunity to act effectively against the Turkey-Hamas collaboration. Turkey’s current and relatively weak position (economically, security-wise, and internationally) affords Israel a better bargaining position than it had in 2016 when the Israel-Turkey reconciliation deal was signed.
At that time, Israel settled for a Turkish promise not to allow Hamas operatives living in Turkey to keep from orchestrating terror activity in the future. The promise was not kept. This time Israel should demand “payment in advance,” meaning that Turkey must first act against the Hamas operatives on their soil and prove that they are preventing them from continuing to act against Israel. Only then will it be worth upgrading relations with Turkey, to a level of understanding and cooperation, a goal that both sides certainly have an interest in promoting.
* * *
2 Turkey’s Erdoğan issues a veiled threat of killing each and every Jew amid Jerusalem tension. https://stockholmcf.org/turkeys-Erdoğan-issues-a-veiled-threat-of-killing-each-and-every-jew-amid-jerusalem-tension/
4 Hamas Covenant https://irp.fas.org/world/para/docs/880818a.htm
5 Shabak announcement, February 14, 2018. https://www.shabak.gov.il/english/publications/pages/hamas-operations-in-turkey.aspx
7 Zvi Barel, “Signs of the Beginning of a New Friendship with Turkey,” Haaretz website, December 13, 2020 (Hebrew); Nadav Shragai, “After Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, Erdoğan Launches a Fervent Courtship,” Israel Hayom website, December 13, 2020 (Hebrew).
8 Nadav Shragai, Al-Aqsa Terror: From Libel to Blood (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and Sella Meir, 2020), 164 (Hebrew).
12 Erdoğan to Ilana Dayan on the Uvdah (TV) program, Mako website, November 21, 2016 (Hebrew); “Erdoğan Attacks: ‘I Don’t Agree with What Hitler Did and Neither Do I Agree with What Israel Did’” (Hebrew).
13 Arad Nir, “‘The Filthy Zionists Are Polluting the Temple Mount,” HaHadashot company, July 25, 2017 (Hebrew).
16 Over the years, Erdoğan has enabled the ongoing activity of the Turkish nonprofit group “Our Heritage” in Jerusalem, one of whose aims is to defend Al-Aqsa against the Israeli incursions and the alleged threat to demolish it.
17 Nadav Shragai, Al-Aqsa Terror: From Libel to Blood (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and Sella Meir, 2020), 189 (Hebrew).
19 “Calls in Virtual Conferences Sponsored by Turkey to Deepen Its Presence in Jerusalem and Its People’s Right to the City,” MEMRI website, December 16, 2020 (Hebrew).
20 For more on Arouri, see the article about him dated August 24, 2014, at the website of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
21 From an Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center publication on Arouri, August 20, 2014.
22 Shabak announcement, August 19, 2014.
24 Barak Ravid, “Israel Has Protested to Russia…,” Haaretz website, September 28, 2017 (Hebrew).
25 MEMRI website.
26 “Turkey Continues to Serve as a Base for Directing Hamas Terror,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, December 9, 2014 (Hebrew).
28 Yoni Ben Menachem, “A Chill in Hamas-Turkey Relations?,” website of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, November 3, 2020.
31 The source for this list, which has not been denied in the West to date, is an article by Jonathan Schanzer, then vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, on its website.
32 The adjudication in Israel accepts this view. See, for example, Case 7690/12, State of Israel v. Khaled Abu Arpa; Judge Y. Amit in Case 392/12, Alian v. State of Israel, para. 4: “Not for nothing is Hamas’ activity prohibited – even in the expressly civilian sphere – in enlightened countries, let alone in Israel and Jerusalem. The adjudication has long acknowledged this, because even activity of a civilian nature by a terrorist organization poses a real risk to the security of the Israeli public.” See also the words of Judge A. Procaccia in Case 6552/05, Avidat v. State of Israel (published in Nevo on August 17, 2005); and more. (Sources are in Hebrew.)
33 For more, see “The Turkish IHH Organization Has a Background of Aiding Terror Elements,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, January 24, 2010 (Hebrew).
34 Omer Dostri, “Hamas Activity in Turkey against Israel,” Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, August 3, 2018 (Hebrew).
35 Shabak announcement, March 3, 2017.
36 Shabak announcement, February 1, 2010.
37 Shabak announcement, May 28, 2014.
38 Shabak announcement, August 19, 2014.
39 Shabak announcement, November 26, 2014.
40 Amos Harel, report on an indictment served against Kawasme at the Military Court: “Shabak: Hamas Is Training Palestinian Students in Malaysia for Terror Activity on the West Bank,” Haaretz website, April 28, 2015 (Hebrew).
41 Yoni Ben Menachem, “Erdoğan’s Hatred,” website of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, December 13, 2017 (Hebrew); on the arrest of the members of the cell, see Shabak announcement, October 5, 2015.
42 Shabak announcement, April 4, 2017.
43 Shabak announcement, March 21, 2017, and reports in the daily media that week.
45 Fazit Rabina, “The Goal: Building the Army of Palestine for War against Israel,” website of Makor Rishon, February 18, 2018 (Hebrew).
46 The quotations are from a Shabak announcement on February 14, 2018.
47 Amir Buhbut, “Shabak Revealed a Cell of the Islamic Movement…,” Walla NEWS, May 16, 2017 (Hebrew).
48 Yotam Berger and others, “Turkish Citizen, Jailed for Terror Infractions, Freed,” Haaretz website, July 16, 2018 (Hebrew); indictment served against Özkan in the Samaria Military Court, July 8, 2018.
54 Roi Nachmias, “Erdoğan: Liberman Is a Plague,” Ynet, January 31, 2011 (Hebrew).
55 Itamar Eichner, “Turkey: Hamas Does Not Instigate Terror Attacks against Israel from Our Territory,” Ynet, November 28, 2014 (Hebrew).
56 Itamar Eichner, Ibid.
57 Announcement of the Justice Ministry, September 11, 2013, on the ruling regarding Yakoub Abu Asav, Sarhan Kafah, and Ahmad Alian on a charge of activity in a terror organization.