Israel urges Erdogan to oust Hamas as Turkey eyes Israeli security tech

Israeli security officials say Gantz asked Erdogan to warn Iran that arms smuggling to proxies through Syria will be met with Israeli resistance; Turkey seeks to bolster U.S. ties with by improved Israeli relations

Yossi Yehoshua|
Israel urged Turkey's president to banish Hamas leadership from its territory, security officials said.
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  • In the unscheduled meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the minister accused Hamas leaders in Turkey of coordinating and funding terror attacks on the West Bank.
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    שר הביטחון בני גנץ עם נשיא טורקיה רג'פ טאיפ ארדואן ב אנקרה
    שר הביטחון בני גנץ עם נשיא טורקיה רג'פ טאיפ ארדואן ב אנקרה
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoga
    (Photo: AFP)
    The officials also said that Gantz asked the president to relay to Iran that Israel would not stand for arms being smuggled via Syria to its proxies in the area, particularly the Lebanon based Hezbollah terror group.
    Turkey, they said seeks to renew the purchases of Israeli weapon systems and technology from the defense industry as well as improve relations with the United States after ties with Israel are restored.
    Israel is also interested in security cooperation with Turkey, in order to thwart Iranian terror activities, and to build a joint communication axis between the countries.
    Ganz met with Erdogan at the Presidential Palace in Ankara during his visit to Turkey. The defense minister thanked the president for the actions taken by the Turkish security agencies "to save the lives of Israelis and Jews from the local community in Turkey," when Iranian terror squads were sent to target them on Turkish soil, earlier this year.
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    שר הביטחון בני גנץ עם שר הגנה של טורקיה חולוסי אקאר באנקרה
    שר הביטחון בני גנץ עם שר הגנה של טורקיה חולוסי אקאר באנקרה
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his counterpart Hulusi Akar Minister of National Defense
    (Photo: AFP)
    Gantz announced that now, two months after Israel and Turkey declared they would be normalizing relations between the countries, he instructed senior security officials in the Defense Ministry to contact their Turkish counterparts and "gradually resume cooperation."
    "Turkey is an important member of NATO and has a relationship with the United States, our most important ally, Gantz said in a statement released by his office. "The positive ties that are formed between the countries significantly strengthen Israeli security, in addition to the existing ties with Greece, Cyprus, and the signatories to the Abraham Accords . I hope that Israel can use its growing ties with Turkey to help end conflicts in the region," Gantz said.
    "In the past year, Turkey has proven itself by removing the threats on Israeli citizens," he said.
    Gantz thanked Erdogan and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. "I believe there is much more to be done to reduce the impact of terror against civilians. I am also confident that strengthening relations between our countries can have a positive influence on the Palestinian issue," he said.
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