BY RYAN MAURO:
Turkey, despite officially being a U.S. ally and member of NATO, deserves blame for the latest missile attacks and kidnappings carried by Hamas. The Erdogan government is sponsoring Hamas, inciting extremist fervor and is even harboring the terrorist leader that oversees kidnappings in the West Bank.
The latest missile attacks by Hamas were preceded by the kidnapping and execution of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank by Hamas operatives. The Hamas leader urging kidnappings of Israelis in the West Bank is named Saleh al-Arouri, and he operates from Turkey.
The kidnappings were preceded by a concerted effort by al-Arouri to fund and plan such operations. He may or may not have masterminded this specific attack, but it was the fruition of his orders. Hamas officially denies involvement, but Israel has identifiedthe kidnappers as Hamas terrorists that were previously arrested and released.
Israeli intelligence has reportedly concluded that Turkey has been the top financial sponsor of Hamas since 2012, with Erdogan arranging for the transfer of $250 million to the terrorist group annually. Another report puts the figure at $300 million. The funding comes from private sources he is close to and not from the official budget. Turkey is also said to have trained Hamas security forces in Gaza through non-governmental groups.
The report said that Turkey coordinates the fundraising with Qatar, another supposed U.S. ally. Members of Congress have asked Qatar to stop financing Hamas. Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas, lives in Qatar and even gave an extremist sermon at its Grand Mosque. The U.S. blocked a $400 million aid package from Qatar to pay 44,000 employees of the Hamas government in Gaza.
The Egyptian government is placing the blame on Hamas, Turkey and Qatar for the continuing conflict. When Egypt proposed a ceasefire, Israel accepted it. Hamas did not, responding with rocket fire and making demands it knows will not be met.
“Had Hamas accepted the Egyptian initiative, at least 40 Palestinian souls would have been saved,” said the Egyptian Foreign Minister.
Turkey responded with its own condemnation of Egypt. Erdogan said Egyptian President El-Sisi is an “illegitimate tyrant.”
Read more at Clarion Project