Mashaal to Erdogan: Israeli aggression unjustified (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Elior Levy Published: 03.16.12, 20:32)
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Hamas chief meets Turkey PM in Ankara, accuses Israel of turning Gaza
into weapon testing field
Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal met with Turkish Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Friday and briefed the him over the
latest round of violence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
During the two-hour meeting, Mashaal accused the Jewish state
of "fabricating excuses" to attack the Palestinians. He also claimed
that Israel has turned Gaza into a testing field for its weapons and
the Iron Dome missile defense system.
For his part, Erdogan expressed anger over the "Israeli aggression,"
and urge Hamas to avoid letting the Jewish state drag the
Palestinians into war.
Erdogan said prior to the meeting that the summit was meant to focus
on the reconciliation efforts between the rival Palestinian factions,
as well as other Mideast developments.
The meeting was not announced until Friday afternoon, and was
attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Mashaal was
accompanied by senior Hamas officials Mousa Abu Marzook, Izzat al-
Rishq, Mohammed Nasser and others.
Al-Rishq said following the meeting that Mashaal thanked Erdogan for
Turkey´s support for the Palestinian people, its efforts to eliminate
the maritime blockade on the Gaza Strip and for agreeing to receive
Palestinian convicts who were released in the prisoner swap that
freed IDF solider Gilad Shalit from Hamas captivity.
According to Al-Rishq, Mashaal told Erdogan about the progress made
in the efforts to reconcile with Fatah, and the two agreed that the
Palestinian statehood issue should be raised on the global agenda
The meeting in Ankara was held a day after top Hamas figure Mahmoud
al-Zahar convened with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbhar Salehi,
and expressed appreciation for the Islamic Republic´s "unwavering
support" for the Palestinians. (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet
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