Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned Israel’s decision to allow building in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, calling it an “absolute provocation” during a speech he delivered in Bahrain during an official visit to the country.

His comments were carried live on Turkish television, according to Reuters.

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Erdogan has maintained close ties with the ruling Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza, a group that was spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization with which Erdogan also has a strong bond. Hamas is continuing to intensify its influence in the regions of Judea and Samaria, both of which have been governed by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas from his Muqata headquarters in Ramallah. On Monday, Hamas announced the election of a new leader — Yahyah Sinwar — in a secret ballot. Sinwar is a senior commander in the terror group’s military wing, Izz a-Din al-Qassam who is known for being more of an extremist than most of the group’s members.

It’s only recently that Turkey has reinstated its diplomatic ties with Israel after a six-year hiatus that followed a 2010 clash between Israeli commandos and armed Turkish “activists” aboard a Turkish-owned flotilla vessel, the Mavi Marmara, participating in an illegal attempt to breach Israel’s defensive maritime blockade of Gaza.

The Knesset passed a Land Normalization Law on February 6, 2017 that would legalize communities that were unknowingly built on land that was privately owned by Arab citizens of the Palestinian Authority.

The United Kingdom also slammed the measure immediately after it was passed.

If the law is not struck down by Israel’s Supreme Court – which it may be – the Normalization Law would allow the government to compensate Arab land owners who are able to prove their claims of land ownership over the formerly empty plots where any settlements were built.

The owners would either receive a large financial package or an alternative plot of land.

In the case of land with unknown owners, the government could legally expropriate the land. The legislation would also require the settlement to have acted in good faith at the time it was built, and that its leaders did not know the land was privately owned.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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