Turkey expels senior Hamas commander

Hamas commander Salah Al-Aruri, who has been directing operations against Israel from Turkey, has reportedly left the country under pressure.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

Hamas commander Salah Al-Aruri has left Turkey in wake of pressure put on the country by Israel to expel him.

A Hamas source has formally confirmed that Salah Al-Aruri, a senior commander responsible for coordinating multiple terror attacks in Israel from Turkish soil, has left Turkey, Kol Israel Radio reported Wednesday.

The Hamas official, Osama Hamadan, told a Hamas affiliated publication that Al-Aruri left Turkey more than two months ago, citing internal considerations of the organization. He denied the departure was the result of pressure on Hamas or a request from the Turkish government.

Kol Israel quotes an Israeli source that said last week that Al-Aruri was expelled from the country amid indications of a Jerusalem-Ankara reconciliation. He is now reportedly shuttling between Lebanon and Qatar, which is notorious for its support of Hamas.

In the meantime, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip  Erdogan met with Hamas leader Khaled Mashal on Saturday in Istanbul. A source from Erdogan’s office said Mashal “briefed Erdogan on the latest developments in the region”, without providing further details.