by Dalit Halevi
Despite rapprochement talks with Israel, Ankara hosts Hamas head at event calling for 'armed struggle' to conquer Jerusalem.
Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's deputy leader and in practice the ruler of Gaza, recently left for a visit to Turkey where he took part on Saturday in a "Together We Will Liberate Jerusalem" conference in Ankara.
Haniyeh gave a speech at the conference, in which called on the Arab and Muslim states to renew their actions to remove the Israeli naval blockade on Gaza, which is meant to prevent the influx of weapons to Hamas and other terror groups.
The conference was organized by an international coalition of student and youth groups in support of Jerusalem and "Palestine," with a goal of strengthening the ties between the anti-Israeli student and youth groups. Activists from no fewer than 30 countries are taking part in the conference.
Ziyad Abu Mahla, chairperson of the conference, said at the opening speech of the event that the conference will try to devise a unified plan to "liberate" Jerusalem through various forms, including through scientific, ideological, media-based, technological, and diplomatic means - as well as "armed struggle."
The Ankara conference further highlights the ongoing active support Turkey grants Hamas, even as it is engaged in rapprochement talks with Israel.
It was revealed last Friday that a Turkish team had visited Gaza with Israeli permission to plan a $5 billion project to reconstruct Gaza, and prime among the plans is a major seaport for the Hamas enclave. The Israeli government has firmly opposed such a seaport, given the blatant danger of it being used to smuggle in weapons.
Israel's normalization talks with Turkey have caused outrage in Egypt, where officials have urged Israel not to normalize ties.
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