Israel Weighs Measures to Restrict Turkish Influence in Jerusalem
JNS.org – Israel’s National Security Council has drafted a list of possible measures to take against the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) operating in eastern Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, due to concerns that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to increase his power in Jerusalem, according to a report in Hadashot news.
Israeli intelligence officials believe Islamic Movement officials have been hosted at the TIKA offices, and that employees have transferred funds and information to Hamas, according to the report. The new measures may require permits for each project or may restrict all TIKA activities.
According to the report, Turkish Islamic groups been sponsoring trips and programs for thousands of local Palestinians, and were a major force behind Temple Mount protests. Recently Turkey has carried out 400 projects, including restoration work on the Dome of the Rock and new dormitories at Ramallah’s Al-Quds University, and has attempted to purchase property in Jerusalem.
According to a report in Haaretz, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Authority have all urged Israel to rein in Erdogan’s encroachment in Jerusalem.