FM Katz slams Erdoğan for hosting Hamas’s Haniyeh in Istanbul

The meeting comes against the backdrop of reports that Hamas’s political leadership is considering leaving Qatar for Turkey.

By JNS

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should be “ashamed” after he met at his office in Istanbul with Hamas terror leader Ismail Haniyeh on Saturday, Israel’s foreign minister said.

“Muslim Brotherhood: Rape, massacre, desecration of corpses, burning babies. @RTErdogan, you should be ashamed!” Israel Katz tweeted in Turkish alongside a picture of Erdoğan and Haniyeh shaking hands during their hours-long meeting. He tweeted the same message in Hebrew.

Ankara has given full-throated support to Hamas after its Oct. 7 massacre and during the ensuing war in Gaza.

The NATO member has also started a trade war with Jerusalem over the ongoing war to defeat Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union and other governments.

According to Erdoğan’s office, the president, whose party recently suffered a historic defeat in nationwide local elections, urged Palestinians during the meeting to unite for “victory” against the Jewish state.

Also discussed were efforts to achieve a ceasefire and increase the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

Read  Netanyahu vows 'painful blows' to Hamas, compares terror group to Pharaoh

Hamas still holds more than 100 Israeli hostages in Gaza taken during the Oct. 7 rampage in the northwestern Negev, with many feared to be dead.

“Israel will one day pay the price for the injustice it inflicts on Palestinians,” Erdoğan said, in the latest in a long list of inflammatory remarks made in the weeks and months since the Hamas-led massacre.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of reports that Hamas’s political leadership is considering leaving Qatar for Turkey.

“Talks between Turkey and Hamas are underway to transfer the organization’s headquarters from Qatar to Turkey,” Saudi news outlet Al-Sharq channel reported.

Khaled Mashaal and other Hamas terrorists also participated in Saturday’s meeting in Istanbul.

Erdoğan has hosted Haniyeh before, but this is the first time he has been invited publicly.

In local elections on March 31, Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered its worst defeat since it took power in 2003.

Katz attributed the historic defeat to the AK Party’s hostility to the Jewish state.

In April, Ankara announced export restrictions on Israel after Jerusalem denied a Turkish request to airdrop aid into the Gaza Strip.

Erdoğan’s government said the trade measures would apply to 54 categories of products and would last until a ceasefire is declared.

Read  Hamas murders aid workers, steals Gazans' food: PA report

Katz said that Erdoğan “is once again sacrificing the economic interests of the people of Turkey for his support of the Hamas murderers in Gaza who raped, murdered and desecrated the bodies of women, girls and adults, and burned children alive.

“Israel will not submit to violence and extortion, will not overlook the unilateral violation of our trade agreements and will take parallel measures against Turkey that will harm the Turkish economy,” he added.

Last month, Erdoğan likened Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to Nazi Germany.

“Netanyahu and his administration, with their crimes against humanity in Gaza, are writing their names next to Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, like today’s Nazis,” he said.

The Israeli leader “continues to commit massacres against the Palestinian people,” he continued, adding that Turkey would do “what is necessary to hold Israeli officials accountable.”

Netanyahu blasted the Turkish leader over the remarks, saying, “Israel observes the laws of war and will not be subject to moral preaching from Erdoğan, who supports [the] murderers and rapists of the Hamas terrorist organization, denies the Armenian Genocide, massacres Kurds in his own country and cracks down on regime opponents and journalists.”