Sunday, May 19, 2024

President: Over 1,000 Hamas members under treatment in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated he does not see Hamas as a "terrorist organization" but as a "resistance organization" and that "more than 1,000 Hamas members are currently under treatment" in Turkish hospitals.

He said calling Hamas a “terrorist organization” would be “a cruel approach.”

“I do not see Hamas as a terrorist organization. On the contrary, Hamas is a resistance organization whose lands have been occupied since 1947 and after the occupation they have protected their lands. They are resistance organization struggling to protect those places,” Erdogan added, according to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu.

Ankara has been one of Israel’s fiercest critics since the conflict with Hamas broke out in October.

In early May, the Trade Ministry in Ankara said in a statement the Turkish government has suspended all trade with Israel in response to the Gaza war.

The suspension of all export and import operations has been introduced in response to the Jewish state’s “aggression against Palestine in violation of international law and human rights,” the statement read.

Ankara will strictly implement the new measures until Israel allows uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, the document added. Israel has been accused by the UN and human rights groups of obstructing deliveries of aid into the enclave. Turkish officials will coordinate with the Palestinian Authority to ensure that Palestinians are not affected by the suspension of trade, the ministry said.

The total suspension follows last month’s restrictions imposed by Ankara on exports to Israel of 54 product categories including construction materials, machinery, and various chemical products. Türkiye had previously stopped sending Israel any goods that could be used for military purposes.

Israel declared war on Hamas in October in response to a deadly attack staged by the armed group, in which at least 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 taken hostage. The retaliatory bombing and ground operation in Gaza has caused the deaths of more than 35,000 people, according to the territory’s health ministry.

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