Turkey rejects Israel claim of military help for Hamas

Members of the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, take part in a military parade in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Israel has accused Turkey of helping Hamas to gain in military strength. (Anadolu Agency)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Turkey rejects Israel claim of military help for Hamas

ANKARA: Turkey on Tuesday blasted as “incompatible with reality” accusations by Israel it had helped the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas to gain in military strength, following the arrest and deportation of a Turkish citizen.
According to the Israeli authorities, Turkish national Cemil Tekeli was arrested in January on suspicion of aiding Hamas through business platforms that launder funds and later deported.
The Shin Bet intelligence agency said the investigation into Tekeli had shown that Turkey contributes to the military strengthening of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.
But the Turkish foreign ministry said it rejected the allegations, describing the claim as “incompatible with reality and lacking in seriousness.”
Alluding to the Israeli investigation into Tekeli, it said that Israel made the claims based on “statements obtained from our detained citizen under ambiguous circumstances.”
It added: “It is out of the question for Turkey to permit an activity on its soil that can jeopardize the security of another country.”
Shin Bet said that Hamas had laundered millions of dollars through Turkey.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, which said that Tekeli was a lecturer at Medeniyet University in Istanbul, reported he had now returned to Turkey after being freed by Israel on February 11.
Shin Bet said his alleged accomplice, Dharam Jabarin, an Arab Israeli, had also been arrested and is to be put on trial.
Turkey and Israel in 2016 ended a rift triggered by Israel’s deadly storming in 2010 of a Gaza-bound ship. But relations remain tense with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan still bitterly critical of Israeli policy.
Turkey delivers humanitarian aid to Gaza and this month bitterly denounced a US decision to put the head of Hamas Ismail Haniya on its terror blacklist.


Houthi militia ‘must respect neutrality of aid workers’

Updated 38 min 4 sec ago
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Houthi militia ‘must respect neutrality of aid workers’

  • The recommendations came as UN monitors try to strengthen a cease-fire in the port of Hodeidah
  • Houthis were blamed for an attack on a UN convey on Thursday

 NEW YORK: UN experts monitoring sanctions against Yemen are recommending that the Security Council urge the Houthis to respect the neutrality and independence of humanitarian workers.

The Associated Press has obtained the nine recommendations the panel of experts made in their latest report to the council.

The recommendations came as UN monitors try to strengthen a cease-fire in the port of Hodeidah, key to the delivery of 70 percent of Yemen’s imports and humanitarian aid, and arrange a withdrawal of rival forces from the area agreed to by the government and the Houthis on Dec. 13.

While the agreement in Stockholm was limited, if fully implemented it could offer a potential breakthrough in Yemen’s four-year civil war.

The experts asked the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against Yemen to engage with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s office, Yemen’s government and donors to “enhance” the UN mission inspecting vessels heading to ports in Yemen for illegal arms so it can “identify networks using false documentation to evade inspection.”

They also suggested that Guterres organize a conference with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank as well as other “key actors to best manage cash flows and imports of goods,” using the principles of the UN Global Compact on how companies should conduct business.

And the experts recommended that the secretary-general ask the UN inspection mission and monitors at the port of Hodeidah “to share information on potential cases of acts that threaten the peace, stability and security of Yemen,” including violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, the UN arms embargo, and obstructions of humanitarian assistance.

The experts also asked the sanctions committee to consider sending three letters. One would be to Abu Al-Abbas, a militia commander in the flashpoint city of Taiz, asking him to transfer artifacts and items from the Taiz National Museum in his custody to Yemen’s government. 

A second would be to alert the International Maritime Organization to “the risks posed by anti-ship cruise missiles and water-borne improvised explosive devices in the Red Sea and to encourage it to discuss these threats with the commercial shipping industry with the aim of developing suitable precautions and countermeasures.”

The third would be to alert the International Civil Aviation Organization of the risks posed by drones and munitions to civil aviation, particularly near busy international airports on the Arabian Peninsula “and encourage it to discuss these threats with airport operators and airlines with the aim of developing suitable precautions and countermeasures.”