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Turkish government warns of 'serious consequences' if Israel attempts to assassinate Hamas leaders living abroad

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan (R) and Hamas' senior leader Ismail Haniyeh shake hands during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara January 3, 2012. (Photo: REUTERS/Stringer)

A Turkish intelligence official revealed on Monday that his government has reportedly warned Israel of “serious consequences” if Jerusalem decides to target senior Hamas terrorists residing in Turkey and elsewhere outside of the Gaza Strip.

“Necessary warnings were made to the interlocutors based on the news of Israeli officials’ statements, and it was expressed to Israel that (such an act) would have serious consequences,” the Turkish official stated. However, the official did not elaborate or specify what was meant by “serious consequences.”

While the majority of Hamas’ military leaders and assets are located in the Gaza Strip, a significant number of the terror organization’s senior officials reside in Turkey, Qatar, Lebanon and Iran.

The Turkish official referred to a leaked statement made by Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar, who vowed to eliminate Hamas, according to the Israeli war cabinet's instruction.

"The cabinet set a goal for us. In the words of the street, it is to eliminate Hamas, and we are determined to do it," Bar said. "This is our Munich," the Shin Bet chief added, referring to Israel’s decision to hunt down PLO-affiliated terror operatives responsible for the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Furthermore, Bar emphasized that Hamas terrorists would be targeted wherever they may be.

"Everywhere: Gaza, Judea and Samaria, Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar, everywhere. It will take several years, but we will be there to do it,” Bar stated.

Georges Malbrunot, a journalist from the French paper Le Figaro, recently claimed that Israel had reassured Qatar it would not target senior Hamas terrorists residing in the Gulf state, which has close financial and ideological ties with Hamas. This alleged reassurance by Jerusalem reportedly facilitated the recent release of more than 100 Israeli and international hostages during the temporary truce that Hamas eventually violated.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied that Israel agreed to refrain from targeting Hamas leaders.

“There is no commitment in the agreement not to act against the leaders of Hamas, whoever they are, during the ceasefire … such a clause does not exist,” Netanyahu stated.

“I instructed the Mossad to act against the Hamas leaders,” the Israeli premier was quoted saying.

President Recep Erdoğan's Islamic regime has close ties with Hamas and Turkey is an important base for the Islamic terror group. The current Turkish leader has a long history of hostility towards the Jewish state. The brief period of perceived Turkish-Israeli diplomatic reconciliation quickly came to an end when Erdoğan refused to condemn the Hamas massacre of 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, on Oct. 7. Instead, Erdoğan defended Hamas as a “liberation group.”

“Hamas is not a terrorist organization, it is a liberation group, mujahideen waging a battle to protect its lands and people,” the Turkish leader said in late October. As the Israeli defensive military operations against Hamas intensified in the Gaza Strip, Erdoğan has increasingly demonized the State of Israel as a “war criminal.”

The Turkish leader recently stepped up his incitement against Israel.

"Beyond being a war criminal, Netanyahu, who is the butcher of Gaza right now, will be tried as the butcher of Gaza, just as Milosevic was tried," Erdoğan said.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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