A number of alleged members of Hamas living in Turkey have been expelled from the country at the request of Israel as the two countries work to mend ties, Israel Hayom reported Wednesday.
“Turkey asked them to leave, and it actually happened in the last few months. Some of the people with ties to Hamas’ military wing have been deported,” he said.
“Dozens of people identified with Hamas in various circles have been deported,” a Palestinian official told Israel Hayom.
He claimed that Israel was the reason behind these expulsions, and had handed Turkey a list of names.
“The Israelis gave Turkey a list of names of Hamas members and information about their involvement in military activity,” the Palestinian source told Israel Hayom, adding that Ankara deported them after Hamas allegedly “promised” not to carry out or be involved in any such activities on Turkish soil.
According to the report, the source claimed that Turkish officials told Hamas that “economic interests were at play” in the Israeli-Turkish rapprochement, meaning Ankara wanted to take no risks.
Turkey and Israel expelled each others’ ambassadors in 2018 and have often traded barbs over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but in recent weeks ties have improved following a visit by Israeli President Isaac Herzog to Ankara and Istanbul.
Turkey has long accommodated Hamas members, while Israel considers the Gaza-based Palestinian group a terrorist organisation.
The rapprochement has worried the Islamist movement Hamas.