Terror groups slam Herzog's visit to Turkey

Hamas expressed regret over the visits by Israeli leaders “to our brothers in Arab and Islamic countries.”

President Isaac Herzog shortly after landing in Turkey ahead of his meeting with counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on March 9, 2022 (photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog shortly after landing in Turkey ahead of his meeting with counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on March 9, 2022
(photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) on Wednesday expressed opposition to President Isaac Herzog’s visit to Turkey.

Hamas, some of whose leaders and activists have long been based in Turkey, said that it “followed with great concern the visits of officials and leaders of the Zionist entity to a number of Arab and Islamic countries, the latest of which was the visit of Israeli President Isaac Herzog to a number of countries in the region.”

Hamas expressed regret over the visits by Israeli leaders “to our brothers in Arab and Islamic countries.”

It called on the Arabs and Muslims not to give “the Zionist entity the opportunity to infiltrate the region and tamper with the interests of its people.”

Hamas reiterated its strong opposition to any form of communication between Israel and the Arabs and Muslims. It accused Israel of “desecrating” Islamic and Christian holy sites and “Judaizing” Jerusalem.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog (L) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (credit: ANNA RAYVA BARSKY/MAARIV)Israeli President Isaac Herzog (L) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (credit: ANNA RAYVA BARSKY/MAARIV)

PIJ, the second-largest terror group in the Gaza Strip after Hamas, also condemned in a separate statement the hosting of Herzog in Turkey. It said that those who strive to restore relations with Israel are “betraying Jerusalem and Palestine.”

“This visit comes during the aggressive Zionist escalation against our people in Jerusalem,” PIJ said, accusing Israel of working to “Judaize the holy sites” in Jerusalem.

PIJ also noted that Herzog’s visit to Turkey comes amid continuing “settler incursions into the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, and represents a bias in favor of the enemy against the Palestinian people’s jihad.”

The Palestinian Authority did not comment on the visit by late Wednesday.