Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Erdogan says Israel to pay heavy price if Hamas members targeted in Turkey

Israel would pay a very heavy price if it targets Hamas members in Turkey, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned.

Speaking to reporters on a flight returning from Qatar on Wednesday, Erdogan warned Israel against hunting down members of the Palestinian group on Turkish soil, according to Reuters.

He also rejected plans to establish a buffer zone in Gaza, adding that such a plan was “disrespectful” to Palestinians.

Erdogan has also expressed the certainty that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not escape criminal punishment for war crimes committed in Gaza.

“Netanyahu will not escape punishment for what he has done. Sooner or later he will face justice and pay for the war crimes he has committed,” he told reporters.

Erdogan has been one of Israel’s staunchest critics since the Gaza war broke out, bringing Israel-Turkey relations to their lowest point in years.

Israel’s top domestic security official Ronen Bar has recently stated Israel is determined to eliminate Hamas all around the world even if it takes years, according to a recording aired by Israel’s public broadcaster Kan on Sunday.

“The cabinet set us a goal. In the words of the street, it is to eliminate Hamas. And we are determined to do it. This is our Munich. Everywhere: in Gaza, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar, everywhere,” Shin Bet chief said.

Bar is the director of the Israeli Security Agency, also known as Shin Bet which is Israel’s domestic security agency, tasked with combating terrorism.

Bar’s mention of Munich is a reference to Israel’s targeted assassination campaign against Black September operatives and organizers, following the Palestinian terrorist group’s deadly attacks against Israelis at the 1972 Olympics in the German city.

“It will take a few years, but we will be there to do it. The security responsibility is ours. Our duty is to provide both security and a sense of security,” he added.

“Unfortunately, on October 7 we were unable to do it. I think we are on the rise. We are not waiting. We are already drawing our lessons from the events.”

Israel has a long history of conducting assassination operations outside its borders in violation of international law, sovereignty of other countries, and human rights.

Israel’s minister of military affairs Yoav Gallant also threatened Hamas leaders back then, stating, “The struggle is worldwide.”

The Israeli aggression in Gaza has so far killed at least 15,900 Palestinians, most of them women and children. Another 41,500 people have been wounded as well.

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