Erdogan Claims Hamas Is Not A Terrorist Organization

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

The president of Turkey claimed that Hamas is not a terrorist organization in a Tuesday tweet directed at Israel’s prime minister, calling Hamas’s enemies “oppressors.”

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan posted the tweet in response to violence along the Israeli-Palestinian border over the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and Israeli military officials’ reports that Hamas is behind the violence. Both Israel and the U.S. have labeled Hamas a terrorist organization since the organization has conducted “many attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings, against Israeli civilian and military targets” and “makes little or no effort to avoid targets frequented by foreigners.”

The Israeli Defense Forces stated Tuesday that 24 of the reported 60 Palestinians killed during violent protests along the border fence were known terrorists, according to The Times of Israel. The IDF based their report on an investigation conducted by the Shin Bet security service.

“Most of the people [from terror groups] killed belonged to the Hamas terror group, and some to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” an IDF spokesperson said, according to The Times of Israel.

The IDF claimed that among those 24 terrorists were all eight members of a Hamas cell group that engaged IDF in a gun fight while trying to breach the border fence.

“There, eight armed terrorists began throwing pipe bombs and grenades at the troops and the fence,” the Israeli stated, according to The Times of Israel. “In order to drive them back from the fence, the troops used riot dispersal means. In response, the Hamas terror operatives opened fire at them.”

The IDF commander of the special forces unit from Maglan who engaged the terrorists told The Times of Israel, on condition of anonymity, that he waited to give the order to fire until civilian protesters scattered.

“The masses completely scattered and so I gave the order to open fire,” he said. “The soldiers operated professionally, with great courage and accuracy, and prevented a serious shooting attack against our troops.”

Hamas and Islamic Jihad confirmed that a combined total of at least 13 of their operatives were killed, or “martyred,” during violent clashes with Israeli forces.

Hamas leadership has repeatedly called for violent jihad, the extermination of the Jewish people and the obliteration of Israel. Palestinian protesters said during the most recent clash along the border that they were excited to do “whatever is possible, to kill, throw stones” and to storm Israel. Many also chanted “Kill the Jews.” (RELATED: ‘Mostly Peaceful’: Palestinian Protesters Are ‘Storming’ Israel [VIDEO]) 

Erdogan’s comments came as no surprise given the Turkish government’s history of support for known Islamic terrorist organizations including Hamas.

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