The Hamas terror organization is still operating inside of Turkey, despite the recent Israel-Turkey reconciliation deal, normalizing ties between the two countries.
On November 15, Israel’s Foreign Ministry is set to choose a new Israeli ambassador to Turkey.
Turkey is expected to announce their new ambassador to Israel shortly thereafter.
To recap, after the Mavi Marmara incident in May 2010, Turkey and Israel cut ties. In June, the two countries inked a deal formalizing the rapprochement, agreeing to work together on a gas pipeline, with Turkey promising to appoint an ambassador to Israel.
As part of the agreement, Israel transferred $21 million to the Turkish government, to be distributed among the families of the Mavi Marmara terrorists killed while attacking IDF soldiers.
In return, Turkey agreed to pass a law disallowing lawsuits against the senior IDF officers and officials involved in the Mavi Marmara raid. However, the families involved have insisted they are not interested in money but in “justice” and the court has agreed to hear their complaints next month.
At the insistence of Shin Bet internal security agency, the IDF, and the Mossad, Turkey also agreed to deport Hamas military activists and shut down their offices; however, Hamas government officials are still allowed to operate.
It bears mentioning that Turkey sees Hamas as a legitimate “freedom” organization, and does not see a reason to curb their activities to end the Israeli “occupation.”
However, Turkey has not actually worked to shut down Hamas’ military wing, and Hamas continues to operate freely within Turkey, even receiving assistance. And despite Israel’s requests to deport Hamas military operatives and stick to the agreement, Turkey has continued to ignore their duties.
Even so, despite the anger in the Israeli defense and intelligence community, Israel’s government does not intend to force Turkey into keeping their agreements.
The Hamas headquarters in Istanbul is attempting to expand the group’s infrastructure in Judea and Samaria. They also collect and transfer money to the PA for use in paying terrorists’ salaries and acquiring weapons and equipment.