Created on Wednesday, 14 January 2015 05:26
Written by Ben Ariel - Arutz Sheva
The United States last week expressed its dissatisfaction over Turkey’s contacts with Hamas, and the terror group took exception.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in her daily press briefing on Thursday that Washington's position on Hamas has not changed and classified the group as a "designated foreign terrorist organization that continues to engage in terrorist activity."
Psaki's remarks came after she was asked about a statement by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is welcome to Turkey whenever he wants.
Cavusoglu’s comments came after it was reported that Qatar had expelled Mashaal
and that he was considering moving to Turkey instaed.
Hamas condemned the State Department’s criticism as "rude and racist," expressing its belief that Ankara would not be affected by such positions.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri stated, according to Hamas’s website, that the U.S. position was proof that Washington is "the archenemy of the nation's issues."
"A democratic, stable and developed Turkey is a source of power for all Muslims," he said in an address to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) annual congress in the conservative central Anatolian city of Konya.
Mashaal said a "strong Turkey means a strong Jerusalem, a strong Palestine," voicing hopes to "liberate Palestine and Jerusalem."
Under Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rule, and particularly in recent years, Turkey has become home to one of the most active Hamas branches in the world.
Among the Hamas terrorist masterminds currently based there is Salah al-Arouri, who claimed responsibility for ordering the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June of this year.