Hamas on Monday welcomed the election of Recep Tayyip Erdogan as president of Turkey, saying this was a “victory” for Palestinians and a setback for the US and Israel.
Hamas’ senior official, Izzat al-Risheq, said that his movement salutes Erdogan for his policies in support of the Palestinian issue.
“From our heart and with all our love we congratulate Erdogan for his victory in the presidential election,” al-Risheq said. “This is a victory for Jerusalem, Gaza and Ramallah. All Palestine welcomes this victory.”
Another Hamas official, Ahmed Bahr, hailed the election of Erdogan as a victory for the “free and oppressed peoples and a defeat for forces of repression and American-Zionist arrogance.”
Last month, after years of publicly restraining himself regarding Erdogan, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry that the words of the leader of Washington’s close NATO ally were anti-Semitic.
According to diplomatic officials, Netanyahu told Kerry that Erdogan's anti-Semitic comments on Israel's operation in the Gaza Strip profaned the memory of the Holocaust.
Erdogan, in the midst of his presidential campaign, said in July “Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism.”
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.