Hamas fears Gaza blockade won’t be lifted in Israel-Turkey rapprochement

Hamas’s biggest fear is that Turkey and Israel resume their security and military cooperation, which will result in restricting Hamas activities in Turkey.

December 24, 2015 00:36
Khaled Meshaal

Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal [File]. (photo credit: YASIN BULBUL / TURKISH PRIME MINISTER OFFICE / AFP)


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Hamas has not received any “positive signs” from Turkey regarding the rapprochement with Israel and fears Ankara will drop its demand for the lifting of the Gaza blockade as a prerequisite for normalizing relations with Jerusalem, a senior Hamas official said Wednesday The London-based online newspaper Rai al-Youm quoted the unnamed Hamas official as saying efforts were underway to “beautify” an Israeli-Turkish accord that would be face-saving for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The official expressed concern is that Turkey would accept an Israeli offer to ease restrictions imposed on the entry of construction material into the Gaza Strip instead of a full lifting of the blockade.

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Rai al-Youm said Hamas’s biggest fear, however, is that Turkey and Israel would resume their security and military cooperation, which will result in restricting Hamas activities in Turkey.

The official said Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who met in Istanbul earlier this week with Erdogan, demanded that Turkey refrain from restricting Hamas activities on its soil.

Mashaal and other Hamas leaders, including his deputy, Moussa Abu Marzouk, also held talks this week with other Turkish officials about the implications of the Israel-Turkey rapprochement.

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