Turkey Has Become a Haven for Terrorist Groups

Four years ago this coming Tuesday, a group of Hamas operatives murdered Eitam and Naama Henkin while they were driving with their children. Earlier this week, the four children—who were injured but survived the attack—filed suit in a federal court against the Turkish bank Kuveyt Turk, which they accuse of providing financial assistance to Hamas. (Since Eitam Henkin had American citizenship, the case can be tried in the U.S.) Jonathan Schanzer and Aykan Erdemir write:

The lawsuit against this . . . bank, which counts the Turkish government as a shareholder, comes two weeks after the U.S. Treasury sanctioned eleven Turkey-linked entities and individuals for supporting Hamas and other jihadist outfits. . . . Between 2012 and 2015, Tehran [too] relied on Turkish banks and a gold trader with dual Iranian-Turkish citizenship to circumvent U.S. sanctions at the height of Washington’s efforts to thwart the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions. It was the biggest sanctions-evasions scheme in recent history.

Turkey has also proved a forgiving host to terrorists. . . . Islamic State terrorists continued to operate from Turkish territory well into 2018. . . . Saleh Arouri, the Hamas military commander responsible for the 2014 kidnapping and killing of three teens in the West Bank, spearheaded that operation from Turkish soil. . . . Arouri is just one of many Hamas operatives who have operated in Turkey. In 2011, ten Hamas operatives released by Israel as part of a prisoner exchange arrived in Turkey, and many remain active there.

It’s already clear that Erdogan’s Turkey has become a permissive jurisdiction for illicit and terror finance. But this new case on behalf of an American victim of terrorism and members of his family could finally begin to hold the regime in Turkey responsible.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Hamas, Iran sanctions, ISIS, Lawfare, Palestinian terror, Turkey

Ordinary Gazans Are Turning against Hamas—and Its Western Sympathizers

In the past few days, difficult-to-confirm reports have emerged of unrest in the Gaza Strip, and of civilians throwing stones at Hamas operatives. A recent video from Al Jazeera showed a Gazan declaring that “God will bring Qatar and Turkey to account” for the suffering of Palestinians in the current war. Being an agent of the Qatari government, the journalist turned away, and then pushed the interviewee with his hand to prevent him from getting near the microphone. Yet this brief exchange contributes much to the ongoing debate about Palestinian support for Hamas, and belies the frequent assertion by experts that the Israeli campaign is only “further radicalizing” the population.

For some time, Joseph Braude has worked with a number of journalists and researchers to interview ordinary Gazans under circumstances where they don’t fear reprisals. He notes that the sorts of opinions they share are rarely heard in Western media, let alone on Al Jazeera or Iran-sponsored outlets:

[A] resident of Khan Younis describes how locals in a bakery spontaneously attacked a Hamas member who had come to buy bread. The incident, hardly imaginable before the present war, reflects a widespread feeling of “disgust,” he says, after Gazan aspirations for “a dignified life and to live in peace” were set back by the Hamas atrocities of October 7.

Fears have grown that this misery will needlessly be prolonged by Westerners who strive, in effect, to perpetuate Hamas rule, according to one Gazan woman. Addressing protesters who have taken to the streets to demand a ceasefire on behalf of Palestinians, she calls on them to make a choice: “Either support the Palestinian people or the Hamas regime that oppresses them.” If protesters harbor a humanitarian motive, she asks, “Why don’t we see them demonstrating against Hamas?”

“Hamas is the destruction of the Palestinian people. We’ve had enough. They need to be wiped out—because if they remain, the people will be wiped out.”

You can watch videos of some of the interviews by clicking the link below.

Read more at Free Press

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion