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Erdogan warns Israel will 'pay the price' if it targets Hamas in Turkey

The Turkish President warned Israel would pay a heavy price if it dared to hunt down Hamas members in Turkish territory.

ANKARA — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday delivered a strong warning against Israel following the Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar's comments over chasing down Hamas leaders in Turkey, saying the Middle Eastern country will "pay the price" if it targets the Palestinian militants in his country.

“If they dare to take such a step against Turkey, they will pay the price in a way that will not be able to get back on their feet again. Those who attempt such a thing should remember that the consequences can be extremely serious, ” Erdogan was quoted as saying onboard his plane on his return from Qatar on Tuesday. “There is no one in the world who does not know the progress Turkey has achieved in the fields of intelligence and security. We are not a state that was founded yesterday. No one should forget this,” he added.

On Monday, Israeli public broadcaster Kan released a recording in which Bar is heard saying Israel would hunt down Hamas’ leaders wherever they are. “The cabinet has set us a goal. In street words, it is to eliminate Hamas, and we are determined to do it … In Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Turkey and Qatar. Everywhere," Bar said.

The Israeli pledge prompted a rare public warning by Turkish intelligence. Turkish intelligence sources speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency warned their Israeli counterparts that any attempt to carry out an illegal operation on its territory would have “serious consequences.”

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