Turkish intelligence has begun to limit Hamas activists headquartered in Turkey, following the reconciliation between Jerusalem and Ankara, Haaretz reported Monday. Although the Turks refuse to acquiesce to Israeli demands to expel Hamas terrorists, they are limiting Hamas officials’ efforts to establish a permanent presence there.
Meanwhile, life in the Gaza Strip continues to be unbearable, with an estimated 60% plus unemployment. And Gazans who attempt to flee to a better future in Europe often drown on the high seas.
According to JNS, the latest sign of mending Turkish-Israeli relations took place on December 28, when the new Israeli ambassador to Ankara, Irit Lillian, presented her credentials to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after four years without an Israeli envoy there.
Another positive sign: Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency and Mossad operatives last June cooperated to thwart Iranian terror squads sent to target Israeli tourists on Turkish soil.
But Israel was not receiving clear assurances that Hamas’s freedom of movement in Turkey would be restricted. Those restrictions are crucial since the Hamas leadership in Turkey coordinates and funds terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria.
Hamas has been able to run a two-tier strategy under the Lapid-Gantz security watch: the terrorist organization keeps a quiet border with Israel along the Gaza Strip, thus facilitating some 20,000 work permits to Gazans who continue to work in Israel uninterrupted; and at the same time the same Hamas has been burning up Judea and Samaria with countless terrorist incidents ranging from throwing Molotov cocktails on Israeli motorists and opening fire on soldiers and civilians.
But life under Hamas continues to be harsh, and many Gazans seeking a better life in Europe are drowning at sea. According to the AP, the devastating numbers of drowning Gazan migrants have led to an outpouring of popular rage against the Hamas rulers.
The AP reported on Sunday that high-profile Hamas officials are fleeing to Lebanon, Qatar, and Turkey, where they find shelter in luxury hotels, leaving the starved masses to deal with a collapsed economy and severely diminished services. Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh relocated to Qatar with his wife and children in 2019. His deputy, Khalil al-Hayya, relocated to Turkey in 2022.
Suicides and suicide attempts have become part of the social reality in the Gaza Strip. They happen every day, even twice a day, and the authorities conceal them behind descriptions along the lines of: “A 24-year-old man was found dead by hanging. An investigation has been launched.”
On July 24, 2022, to give just one example out of dozens in recent months, Hosni Abu-Arabiya, 26, from the Shatti refugee camp west of Gaza City, ended his life, setting himself on fire in front of his family before anyone at home could stop him. He was severely injured and taken to the hospital with high-degree burns. Half a day later he was pronounced dead.
Mourners at a mass funeral for young Gazans who drowned at sea last month shouted the names of Haniyeh and Yehiyeh Sinwar, who runs things in Gaza, and added, “The people are the victims!” The families of the drowned youths blamed the Hamas bosses, present and absent, for the chaos and misery in the Strip, and accused them of corruption.