Unsurprisingly, Turkey Sides with Hamas on UN Resolution Condemning Gaza Rocket Attacks
Turkey, a NATO ally, plans to oppose an American-sponsored draft resolution at the United Nations condemning Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other Palestinian terror factions for their attacks on Israel. A vote on the resolution is scheduled for Thursday.
The resolution specifically condemns “Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk.” It also demands that Palestinian terror factions stop using “airborne incendiary devices” against Israel.
Turkey will vote against the resolution, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported this week, and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu promised Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that Turkey would do everything it could to stop its passage. Haniyeh lobbied the Turks to help Hamas thwart the American effort. Hamas called the resolution “aggression against the rights of the Palestinian cause” in a communiqué posted on its website, and claimed that the measure was an assault on “the right of the Palestinian people to defend themselves.”
Çavuşoğlu vowed that his country would “remain alongside the right of Palestine and Palestinians, and that its position is constant on the Palestinian Cause.”
Turkey has become a key Hamas ally and protector. Çavuşoğlu condemned the US decision to classify Haniyeh as a specially designated global terrorist, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared last May that Hamas was not a terrorist organization. Turkey also gives military assistance to Hamas through a private military company called SADAT International Defense Consulting, which is run by a top Erdogan military adviser, Israel’s Shin Bet disclosed earlier this year.
Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar visited Turkey last week to meet with Hamas members living in Istanbul. Al-Zahar toured the region seeking support for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), which Mahmoud Abbas effectively shut down in 2007.
Despite an intense struggle for power, the Palestinian Authority and Abbas’ Fatah faction also have condemned the UN resolution critical of Hamas, saying that it would hurt all Palestinian factions.
“Hamas is part of the Palestinian people, and we won’t accept any attempt to add it to the list of terror groups,” said Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official.
The resolution is unlikely to pass, due to the wide support that the Palestinian cause enjoys among non-aligned nations in the Third World. The UN passed six anti-Israel resolutions last Friday alone, including two denying historical Jewish connections to Israel. Condemning people who intentionally fire rockets at civilians is somehow a more difficult act.
John Rossomando is a senior analyst at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.