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Is Erdogan closing Hamas' Istanbul office?

Israel has demanded that Turkey expel Hamas activist Salah Al-Arouri from Istanbul as a condition for normalizing bilateral relations.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal speaks during a news conference in Doha, Qatar September 7, 2015. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon - RTX1RJ1F

Two days after it was reported that Israel and Turkey had reached a series of understandings ultimately leading to their reconciliation, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.

According to Turkish media reports, on Dec. 19, the two men discussed “developments in the Middle East.” As far as Hamas was concerned, this meant Turkey’s decision to reconcile with Israel and the eventual price Hamas will have to pay for it. For example, one of the Israeli conditions was that Turkey expel senior Hamas official Salah al-Arouri. In December 2014, Al-Monitor reported that Arouri had established his own “bureau” in Istanbul and that it operated quite independently from the rest of the movement. This had been a source of trouble for Hamas’ multiheaded leadership on more than one occasion.

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