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Hamas leader Haniyeh to visit Turkey this weekend: Erdogan

Published : Thursday, 18 April, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 222

ISTANBUL, Apr 17: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan said Wednesday he will host the leader of Palestinian militant group Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, in Turkey this weekend.

"The leader of the Palestinian cause will be my guest this weekend," Erdogan, an outspoken critic of Israel, told lawmakers.

Private television channel NTV reported that the two men would meet on Saturday at the Dolmabahce palace in Istanbul.

Their last meeting was in July 2023 when Erdogan hosted Haniyeh at the presidential palace in Ankara alongside Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.

Erdogan has been one of the strongest critics of Israel since the start of the war in Gaza, sparked by the militant groups attack on Israel on October 7, 2023.

The attack claimed 1,170 lives, mostly civilians, Israeli figures show.

Israel has responded with a ground and air offensive that the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said has killed at least 33,899 people, mostly women and children.

The Turkish leader has forged friendly ties with Haniyeh, who is based in Qatar.

Erdogan last week offered Haniyeh condolences for the death of his three sons and some of his grandchildren in an Israeli strike in Gaza.

Erdogan has called Israel a "terrorist state" and accused it of conducting a "genocide" in Gaza. He has called Hamas "liberators" or "mujahideen" fighting for their land.    —AFP







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