A large Hamas terror ring, run from a command center in Turkey has been detected and foiled, according to an announcement made by Israel's internal security service, the Shin Bet.
On Thursday the Shin Bet announced that it has arrested more than 30 Hamas members across the disputed territories who had been planning to carry out multiple attacks on targets in Jerusalem and around the country. Targets included the light rail service and Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem's largest soccer stadium.
The Hamas operatives were selected while studying in Jordan and trained either in the Sinai or in the Gaza strip.
Palestinian Authority officials told The Times of Israel that Saleh al-Arouri, a senior Hamas operative who was deported by Israel to Turkey was the mastermind behind the operation. They charged that Turkey and Qatar allow Hamas members to operate with impunity within their respective territories and support them in carrying terrorist attacks out against Israel and undermining the Palestinian Authority.
Israeli intelligence has reportedly concluded that Turkey has been the top financial sponsor of Hamas since 2012, with Erdogan arranging for the transfer of $250 million to the terrorist group annually. Another report puts the figure at $300 million. The funding comes from private sources he is close to and not from the official budget. Turkey is also said to have trained Hamas security forces in Gaza through non-governmental groups.
Qatar, the other half of what the Al-Arabiya Institute for Studies called "the Qatari- Turkish regional axis supporting political Islam" is also a major backer of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas, lives in Qatar and even gave an extremist sermon at its Grand Mosque. The U.S. once blocked a $400 million aid package from Qatar to pay 44,000 employees of the Hamas government in Gaza.