Despite Tensions Turkey will Continue to Finance Hamas
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According to a new information received from a Turkish high official, the Turkish government is secretly financing Hamas and helping it to develop its military capabilities in the Gaza strip.
According to information received, the figure that acts as the personal representative of Turkey‘s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Hamas is Erdogan’s chief advisor, Yassin Aktay. During the past year, Aktay met regularly with Hamas leaders – Khaled Mashal and Mounir Said and supplied them with suitcases containing millions of dollars in cash.
According to the Turkish official, who preferred to remain anonymous, the money make its way to Gaza in two ways:
• in cash – delivered by Hamas leaders as part of the Qatari money transfers to Gaza,
• in the form of military supplies meant for Hamas’ special units including its naval commando. The equipment (valued at 700,000 USD) is bought online through several companies in Asia through Ali Express. Some of this equipment that made its way to Gaza through Egypt was recently caught by the Israeli customs.
Mashal’s role in this exchange of money and military supplies is to oversee the UAE route, particularly embedding Turkish money in the Qatari payments.
Whereas Mounir Said, who is less known to the public, is in charge of Asia and Africa. Said, is the president of the Afro Asian Cooperation Council a Turkish-based NGO that ostensibly acts in order to strengthen relations between Muslim communities in Africa and Asia. In reality, the NGO’s main purpose is to raise support and money for Hamas.
Said, who is also an advisor to Hamas’ unofficial embassy in Malaysia, PCOM (Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia), maintains a vast network of financial connections in many African and Asian countries. His network is especially developed in Africa thanks to his time as the Chairman of Hamas’ student organization in Sudan.
Recently however, it seems that there is trouble in paradise. Tensions between the sides mounted after Aktay discovered that despite Turkey’s insistence that the money it donates to Hamas go directly to Gaza (both for military and civil purpose), some of the funds are diverted by Hamas to other locations. Particularly, to support the activity of two pro-Hamas organizations in North Africa – Movement of Society for Peace Algeria and Ansar Palestine Tunis. According to Turkish estimates, each of these two organizations received an amount of 250,000 USD to finance their activity.
However, according to the Turkish official that disclosed the information, despite these tensions between the Turkish president and Hamas, it is most likely that Turkey will continue to finance Hamas in the coming years.