It was supposed to look different: Erdogan signaled his desire for reconciliation with Israel, in a new relationship. President Herzog weaves the initial threads. Then the institution also entered the picture. Dedi Barnea and his men began to talk with their counterparts in Turkey. They recommended to Bennett a gradual, cautious discourse. Erdoğan is fickle - be warned. When Gantz went to meet with Erdogan and his Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in Ankara, they talked mainly about Iran, but also about Hamas. Erdogan wanted a promise that Israel would not eliminate Hamas members on his soil. According to a Turkish source, he got what he wanted. Israel requested that Erdogan keep Hamas away from his domain and that Turkey lower its profile in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as well, but the Turkish president evaded.
It was supposed to look different: Erdogan signaled his desire for reconciliation with Israel, in a new relationship.
President Herzog weaves the initial threads.
Then the institution also entered the picture.
Dedi Barnea and his men began to talk with their counterparts in Turkey.
They recommended to Bennett a gradual, cautious discourse.
Erdoğan is fickle - be warned.
When Gantz went to meet with Erdogan and his Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in Ankara, they talked mainly about Iran, but also about Hamas.
Erdogan wanted a promise that Israel would not eliminate Hamas members on his soil.
According to a Turkish source, he got what he wanted.
Israel requested that Erdogan keep Hamas away from his domain and that Turkey lower its profile in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as well, but the Turkish president evaded.
The renewed renaissance in Turkish-Israeli relations - or so it was believed in Israel - was supposed to free the security forces from one of the more sensitive tasks they have been engaged in in recent years: gathering intelligence and thwarting attacks orchestrated by Hamas from Turkey.
But the reality is different.
This is not how reconciliation is built: even if the Hamas activists in Istanbul have lowered their profile a little, the attempts of Hamas-Turkey to pour into the territories of the West Bank, and in particular into Jerusalem, terrorist-initiating funds, to establish Hamas infrastructures in Israel, some of them disguised as civilian institutions, and even to carry out terrorist attacks - no stop
Furthermore: Turkey has officially informed Israel that it rejects its demand to remove Hamas members from its territory and to close their headquarters in Istanbul.
Aliba of Turkey - Hamas is not a terrorist organization, and it, Turkey, and its ruling party are part of the "Muslim Brotherhood" system, of which Hamas is also a part.
The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu clarified things officially and publicly from the stage of the Turkish Parliament.
"Ankara," Chebusulu announced, "refused Israeli requests to deport the Hamas leadership that is in the country."
As part of the "Hamas is a brother" policy, Turkey even denies that Hamas directs or tries to direct terrorist attacks from its territory, or flows funds to terrorist elements.
Now the Sabah newspaper, which is affiliated with Erdogan, has published that the Turkish security establishment has thwarted the Mossad's activities on the country's soil, and that 44 people, most of them private investigators who worked for the Mossad, have been arrested.
It was also reported that the suspects were secretly following, under the direction of the Mossad, Palestinian citizens and institutions and associations in Turkey.
Israel, as of now, is not responding.
The Turkey-Hamas case is expected to be one of the first security issues to be placed on the table of the new-old Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu has already talked, a short telephone conversation (12 minutes), with Erdogan, about the new era in relations between the two countries, mainly about deepening the economic ties between them.
The cooperation between the two countries, from a few months ago, against the Iranian terrorist squads that planned attacks against Israelis on Turkish soil also came up.
But on the "elephant in the room", Hamas-Turkey relations, the two avoided talking.
Israel emphasized again this week: this is not about conspiracy theories.
The list of attacks and attempted attacks that Hamas directed Turkey for more than a decade - is long, tangible.
It could have been many times more deadly if not for the setbacks.
There were hundreds of them.
The most resounding of them were attempts made from Turkish soil to attack Malcha Mall, the light rail stations and the central station in Jerusalem, Beer Sheva and the Tel Hashomer base.
One coup attempt by Hamas against the Palestinian Authority, which was partly orchestrated in Turkey, was also foiled, and Israel managed to get its hands on tens of millions of shekels, terrorist funds, originating from Hamas, Turkey. The security forces also uncovered large stockpiles of weapons, purchased with funds originating from Turkey. In June 2014, Israel In front of her is the statement of terrorist chief Saleh Aruri, from Turkey, that Hamas accepts responsibility for the kidnapping and murder of the three boys from Gush Etzion.
Only a few years ago, Erdogan himself intervened to free a Turkish citizen, Avron Özkan, 27 years old, who was imprisoned in Israel on suspicion of terrorist offenses.
During the last decade, Hamas also trained Palestinian students in Malaysia for terrorist activities in the Jewish State. Some of the training was carried out in Turkey itself. The murder of the couple Itam and Naama Henkin in October 2015 was also directed from there, and the Shin Bet still remember very well the details of the Prof. Takli case, which became the Kou case Water in Turkey-Israel relations against the background of Hamas activity from Istanbul.
From this incident, more than from other events, Israel learned how intertwined Turkish government officials and Hamas officials in Turkey were with each other.
Its disclosure made it difficult for the Turkish authorities to claim a lack of knowledge about Hamas activities in their country.
The two protagonists of that little-forgotten affair were law professor Jamil Takli from Istanbul, a tourist and member of a delegation of lawyers from Turkey that visited the country, and Dara'am Jabarin, a resident of Umm al-Fahm.
The two were recruited to work in the service of Hamas by Zohar Jabarin, one of the freedmen of the Shalit deal, who in recent years has been hopping between Gaza and Turkey.
Jabarin works alongside a group of other deportees from the Shalit deal, which to this day constitutes the active central skeleton of Turkey's Hamas.
The deportees, reinforced by a younger generation, are the ones who managed the Hamas budget from Turkey.
All of them were defeated by Saleh Aruri, who continued to promote - from his seat in Turkey, later in Qatar and now in Lebanon - extensive terrorist activity in the Jewish state.
In the Takli matter, the Shin Bet revealed that Hamas operates in Turkey with close ties to the top of the government, and that senior government officials in Turkey contribute to the military strengthening of Hamas through the company "Sadat".
The vocation of this army sergeant was war in Israel.
The Sadat company, previously reported by the journalist Fazit Rabina ("Mekor Rishon") and other sources, was established in 2013 by General Adnan Tenrivardi, former head of the special forces of the Turkish army, inspired by none other than Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Islamist Tenrivardi, who was expelled from the Turkish army in 1997 because of his Islamist activities, later became one of Erdogan's closest advisors and between the two there was mutual trust and a deep ideological closeness.
It has been 11 years since the offices of the Hamas organization officially operate in Istanbul.
Turkey defines the activity there as political, but the separation between the political arm of Hamas and its military arm has proven over the years to be unfounded.
Reminder: the current reconciliation with Turkey is chapter two.
Reconciliation Chapter 1 was written in 2016.
Israel and Turkey then signed a memorandum of understanding and reconciliation following the Marmara affair.
But Israel's hope that Turkey would keep its promises under that agreement was disappointed.
In one of its sections, Turkey undertook to prevent the use of its territory to carry out military-terrorist operations against Israel.
That document also included a moratorium on collecting funds for terrorist purposes.
Both promises remained on paper.
The question is what happens now?
What will give birth to chapter 2 in the reconciliation saga between Israel and Erdogan?
Will Erdogan, as he allegedly promised, prevent Hamas from carrying out terrorist activities from his territory this time?
Meanwhile, the signs are not encouraging.
For example, the security forces have indications that the terrorist cells that operated and still operate from Nablus, under the name "Lions' Den", also received financial support from Turkey's Hamas.
As I recall, the Lions' Guard carried out dozens of shooting attacks in the Samaria region, before the IDF raided them in Nablus and seriously injured them. Just last week, the Lions' Guard marched through the streets of Nablus again, armed with rifles and anti-aircraft guns, and even claimed responsibility for a shooting incident at Beit Purik and the Hvara checkpoint.
Question marks surrounding the involvement of Turkey's Hamas also arose during the investigation of last month's combined attack at the entrance to Jerusalem and in the capital's Ramot neighborhood, in which Aryeh Shechopek and Tedsa Tschuma were murdered.
Turkey, it should be noted, condemned the attack and defined it as a terrorist act.
A gag order is currently placed on the investigation into the incident, but at least one senior reserve officer has spoken publicly about this possible connection.
This is Col. Dr. Moshe Elad, former head of the security coordination mechanism vis-a-vis the Palestinian Authority.
Even from a review of indictments filed in recent months against terrorists, it can be learned that even after the "reconciliation date 2" Hamas Turkey has not yet said the last word: the Jerusalem district attorney's office submitted to the district court in the city an indictment against Balav Sub Laban, a resident of Jerusalem, attributing to him a series of offenses security.
According to the indictment, Laban was recruited by the Hamas organization to establish a kindergarten, a special education center and an association for the purpose of financing terrorism.
Laban, as it turns out, met in Turkey with his brother-in-law, Fahad Shlodi, a Hamas operative who was convicted of murder, sentenced to two life sentences, and as part of the Gilad Shalit deal was deported to Turkey.
Shlodi suggested to Laban to purchase weapons in order to promote military activity on behalf of Hamas in Jerusalem, as well as to promote organizational activity on behalf of Hamas.
Laban apparently agreed to this.
Some time later, Laban met with a delegation of Turkish tourists on the Temple Mount, presented himself as an accomplice on behalf of Hamas and collected a lot of money from them.
Another indictment from the recent period, which also exposes the activities of Hamas in Turkey, was filed against three residents of the north, who passed information to the Hamas organization in Turkey and planned to damage the activities of the Cellcom network during a war or a military operation.
One of the defendants, RA, worked as a software engineer at Cellcom and at the request of Hamas, through the mediation of Ashraf Hassan (a Hamas operative who lives in Turkey and is under the command of Saleh Aruri), transferred to the organization sensitive information about communications infrastructure in Israel. The activity attributed to the defendants in this case did indeed begin in 2017, but continued according to the indictment in 2021 and 2022 as well.
And of course there is the disturbing incident of Khaled Sabah and his sons from the village of Zur Bahar in East Jerusalem.
The indictment against them, which was submitted to the Jerusalem District Court a few months ago, allegedly reveals what took place behind the scenes of Hamas-Turkey relations, right at the same time as the preparations Israel and Turkey made for the Erdoğan-Herzog summit meeting.
According to what is said there, last January Sabah, his wife and sons flew to Turkey, where Sabah received from senior Hamas officials the responsibility for Hamas-Jerusalem, and was even appointed to coordinate Hamas operations against the (illegal) northern faction of the Islamic movement in Israel.
In addition to shooting training, preparing for future military activity and organizing Ramadan riots from the Temple Mount, financial matters also came up in this meeting.
During the investigation it became clear that part of the set of activities that Sabah allegedly managed included contact with the association "Lajanat al-Quds", one of whose offices was located in the Shaar Har-Rahim complex on the Temple Mount, and which transferred funds to Hamas activists and the families of martyrs.
Netanyahu and his incoming government will, therefore, have to redraw boundaries for Erdogan, who still sees himself as the successor of the chain of Ottoman sultans, responsible for Jerusalem in terms of Islam and striving to renew the days of the empire.
Ideologically, they know in Jerusalem, Erdogan has not changed.
In his own eyes, the Turkish president is the successor of Saladin and Suleiman the Magnificent, and the Turks are the "grandsons" of these two.
Erdogan, even in recent years, has periodically raised the dream of a regional or global Islamic caliphate.
He returned to Turkish schools the study of the Ottoman language, and at official receptions for foreign leaders visiting his country he combined guards with clothing representing the soldiers of the Ottoman Caliphate, and not necessarily the old republican honor guard.
Erdogan's Turkey sees itself as the representative of Muslim civilization, and Erdogan sees himself as a partner, patron and protector of the Muslim Brotherhood, including Hamas.
His party, the Islamic Justice and Development Party,
This is therefore the deep, true background for Turkey's ongoing cooperation with Hamas, even at a time when Turkey is seemingly moving away from Iran (which openly aids Hamas), and is getting closer, as a result of economic and regional interests, to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the USA.
Just at the beginning of this month, a joint conference of the Islamic movements in Turkey and the Turkish Association for Solidarity with Palestine was held in Istanbul.
The ceremony was attended by figures from the Turkish ruling party and members of Hamas.
One of the speakers was the Deputy Mayor of Istanbul, Hasan Turan.
The terminology he used - occupation, looted Jerusalem, the captured al-Aqsa Mosque, or backing the resistance of the Palestinian people - does not quite match the spirit of reconciliation that is now blowing between the two countries.
Nasr Abu Othman, the chairman of the Turkey-Palestine Solidarity Association, also mentioned with admiration "ten Palestinian martyrs who fell recently". He described "our victorious brigades in Gaza, which lead the resistance against the brutal occupation". of honor in his words.
Abu Othman declared that the conference is following in the footsteps of the liberators of Jerusalem, Omar bin al-Khattab and Salah al-Din.
This conference mentioned in some of its contents similar conferences held in Turkey in recent years by the Forum of Religious Sages of Turkey for Jerusalem, and also the conference of the "People's Conference of the Palestinian Diaspora" (affiliated with Hamas), held in Istanbul at the beginning of this year.
In those conferences it was claimed that Palestine has an Ottoman identity.
The participants, similar to those at the conference from the beginning of the month, called for deepening Turkish involvement in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
And what's next?
The Turkish test is very practical.
Israel handed over to the Turks lists of Hamas operatives that it must remove from its territory.
Some left the borders of Turkey, but it is not clear if they returned there.
Nine of them received Turkish citizenship.
The lists include, among others, Hassam Badran, who directed terrorist activity in Hebron and funneled terrorist funds to Nablus;
Musa al-Akhari, who was a member of the squad that kidnapped and murdered police officer Nissim Toledano in December 1992; Salama Marai, a Hamas operative in Turkey whose name was also linked to the Prof. Takli case; Abd al-Rahman Ranimath, former head of the Zurif squad of Hamas; Abd al- Hakim Hanani; Zakaria Najib, a senior Hamas operative who oversaw a plan to assassinate Nir Barkat when he was mayor of Jerusalem; and Jahad Ya'mor, a Hamas operative who was involved in the kidnapping of Nachshon Waxman, was sentenced to life imprisonment and deported to Turkey as part of the Shalit deal. According to the information center for intelligence and terrorism, as a cover for Ya'mor's activities in Turkey, he serves as the president of the "Association of Jerusalem and its History".
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