The shutting down of Hamas’s operations in Turkey is emerging as one of the sticking points preventing the signing of an agreement normalizing ties between Israel and Turkey, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Likud faction on Monday that a rapprochement with Turkey is not yet a done deal, echoing comments made a day earlier by a spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.
The PMO issued a statement last Thursday saying that Israeli officials, led by incoming Mossad head Yossi Cohen, had met with Turkish representatives and reached understandings that would pave the way for a normalization of ties between the two countries, and an exchange of ambassadors. That statement stressed, however, that the understandings still had to be signed.
Diplomatic ties between the two countries went into a tailspin following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.
According to the PMO statement, one of the points agreed upon was that Hamas terrorist Saleh al-Arouri would not be allowed back into Turkey, and that his operations there would end. But, the Post has learned, the issue is not only about Arouri, but also about Hamas offices in Turkey in general.
Hamas head Khaled Mashaal held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday.
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