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Israel: "Close Hamas offices in Istanbul" (Yair Lapid to Turkey)

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at a faction meeting in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem, October 4, 2021
Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Israel: "Close Hamas offices in Istanbul" (Yair Lapid to Turkey)

"It is the duty of the entire international community to prevent terrorist acts"


Israel's foreign minister on Monday evening urged Turkey to close the offices of the Hamas terrorist group operating in the country, after Israel announced the arrest of a 50-member Hamas cell run from Istanbul.

“We must prevent these criminal terrorist acts against Israeli citizens everywhere and under all circumstances,” Yair Lapid said.

The minister encouraged countries around the world to follow the recent example of the UK in efforts to classify the political wing of Hamas as a terrorist organization.

"It is not only Israel's duty to act, it is the duty of the entire international community, as Britain has done," he said. 

The Israeli internal security services (Shin Bet) announced on Monday that it had dismantled in recent weeks a cell made up of more than 50 Hamas members in the West Bank, which was preparing large-scale attacks against the Israelis.

The "Hamas terrorist cell was led by leaders of the movement abroad" and was preparing to carry out attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Y. Lapid's remarks come two days after a fatal shooting in Jerusalem's Old City , where a Hamas-affiliated gunman shot several people, killing 26-year-old Israeli Eliyahu Kay and wounding four others.

The shooter, a Palestinian identified as Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, visited Turkey several times before the attack, according to Matthias Inbar, security specialist i24NEWS .