Hamas Spies on Israel from Turkish Soil

Last week, the Turkish ambassador to the Jewish state presented his credentials to President Isaac Herzog, ending a four-year period without an ambassador, and signaling the gradual thaw in relations between Jerusalem and Ankara. Yet Hamas continues to use Turkey as its base of operations. Yoni Ben Menachem writes:

Several senior leaders of Hamas and their families now live permanently in Turkey, and some have received Turkish passports. In addition to engaging in terrorism, the Hamas officials have also established their own businesses. [The Hamas politburo chairman] Ismail Haniyeh’s son, Hazem, moved his family from Gaza to Turkey, meaning that the Hamas head has transferred almost his entire family from Qatar and Gaza to Turkey. Details of their exit from Gaza were leaked from Egyptian lists of residents departing via the Rafah crossing on Egypt’s border. In response, Gazans expressed outrage on their social media.

The intelligence branch of the military wing of Hamas continues to operate unhindered in Istanbul, with the approval of Turkish intelligence, despite Israel’s protests. Senior Israeli security officials have revealed details regarding some of the activities of this branch in the field of intelligence beyond directing and funding terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria. According to security sources, the Hamas branch in Istanbul collects intelligence on Israel for Iran in exchange for large sums of money.

In the branch office in Istanbul, there is a special monitoring room where Hamas terrorists who have been released from Israeli prisons and who understand Hebrew fluently, along with members of the Hamas cyber unit, monitor the communication networks and phone calls of the IDF, social networks, and computer communications. This information is then passed on to Iranian intelligence.

Read more at Jersualem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Iran, Israeli Security, Turkey

An Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Violate International Law

 The IDF announced on Thursday that it is safe for residents to return to some of the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip that have been abandoned since October 7. Yet on the same day, rocket sirens sounded in one of those communities, Kibbutz Mefalsim. To help ensure security in the area, Israel is considering the creation of a buffer zone within the Strip that would be closed to Palestinian civilians and buildings. The U.S. has indicated, however, that it would not look favorably on such a step.

Avraham Shalev explains why it’s necessary:

The creation of a security buffer along the Gaza-Israel border serves the purpose of destroying Hamas’s infrastructure and eliminating the threat to Israel. . . . Some Palestinian structures are practically on the border, and only several hundred yards away from Israeli communities such as Kfar Aza, Kerem Shalom, and Sderot. The Palestinian terrorists that carried out the murderous October 7 attacks crossed into Israel from many of these border-adjacent areas. Hamas officials have already vowed that “we will do this again and again. The al-Aqsa Flood [the October 7th massacre] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”

In 2018 and 2019, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized mass marches towards the Israeli border with the goal of breaking into Israel. Billed by Palestinians as “the Great March of Return,” its name reveals its purpose—invasion. Although the marches were supposedly non-violent, they featured largescale attacks on Israeli forces as well as arson and damage to Israeli agriculture and civilian communities. Moreover, the October 7 massacre was made possible by Hamas’s prepositioning military hardware along the border under false cover of civilian activity. The security perimeter is intended to prevent a reprise of these events.

Shalev goes on to dismantle the arguments put forth about why international law prohibits Israel from creating the buffer zone. He notes:

By way of comparison, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, France occupied the Saar [River Valley] directly until 1947 and then indirectly until reintegration with Germany in 1957, and the Allied occupation of Berlin continued until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Allies maintained their occupation long after the fall of the Nazi regime, due to the threat of Soviet invasion and conquest of West Berlin, and by extension Western Europe.

Read more at Kohelet

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, International Law, Israeli Security