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Can Turkey's Erdogan godfather Palestinian Hamas-Fatah reconciliation?

Uniting the Palestinians is a complicated task that will prove a challenge to the Turkish president's influence.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he is doing his best to reconcile Hamas and Fatah, the two main Palestinian factions, amid the Hamas-Israel war in Gaza, now in its third month. As Al-Monitor reported last week, to this end, Erdogan has asserted Turkey's willingness to host an international conference to bring Fatah and Hamas leaders together.

Uniting the Palestinians is an uphill task, however, and Erdogan’s influence might well wane as the Palestinian equation becomes more complicated. Also of note, Erdogan’s underlying approach has been to transform Hamas, meaning that, ultimately, his efforts should be of little worry to Israel.

The Hamas-Turkey relationship

The extent of Turkey's involvement with Hamas has been the topic of much speculation. For years, Israeli intelligence sources have alleged that Hamas members based in Turkey have been planning attacks and collecting money while there, in addition to obtaining Turkish passports. It is not an urban legend but a well-known fact that Hamas has an office in Istanbul’s Basaksehir district, has established ties with various Turkish charities, and has strong relations with the base of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) as well as the opposition Felicity Party (SP).

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