Israel on Monday accused Turkey of helping Hamas to gain in military strength, following its arrest and deportation of a Turkish citizen.
The Shin Bet intelligence agency said the Hamas' "economic and military activity in Turkey takes place unhindered as Turkish officials turn a blind eye and -- on occasion -- encourage it".
Kamil Tekeli, a Turkish law professor, was arrested by the Shin Bet and the police in mid-January. He was deported back to Turkey after being questioned. About a week later, police arrested Dergham Jabareen, an Arab Israeli, on suspicion of "involvement in moving funds from Turkey to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for use in terrorist activity".
The Shin Bet said its investigation discovered one company set up by Hamas in Turkey that was used to launder money collected for Hamas in other countries and then send it on to the territories. In this way, millions of dollars were sent to Hamas-controlled Gaza.
"In Tekeli's investigation, it was learned that Turkey contributes to the military strengthening of Hamas," according to Shin Bet, which said the movement had laundered millions of dollars through Turkey.
SADAT ATTENDED STATE SECURITY SUMMIT
The Shin Bet statement also accused Turkey of aiding Hamas’ military build-up via a company called SADAT, established by an adviser to members of the current government in Ankara. Tekeli told his interrogators that the company sends money and arms to Hamas.
The founder of Turkish AKP government's paramilitary force SADAT, Adnan Tanrıverdi, took part in security summit in January regarding Turkey's military operation in Afrin. The security summit chaired by the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, regarding government's military operation in Afrin, was held in the capital of Turkey on January 23. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, the Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar, deputy prime ministers and the Chief of Turkish Intelligence Agency Hakan Fidan attended the summit.
Whether SADAT is conducting illegal activities has been a matter of debate since the foundation of the organisation. It was also argued that SADAT is affiliated with the jihadist organisations al-Qaida, al-Nusra and Islamic State (IS).
ANKARA REJECTED ISRAEL CLAIM OF MILITARY HELP FOR HAMAS
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 jeopardise the security of another country."