Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh conferred urgently with Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut on Thursday after Turkish intelligence detained a large group of Iranian agents and foiled a plot targeting Israelis visiting Istanbul, including a retired senior Israeli diplomat and his wife. Their Turkish collaborators were recruited by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards agents – all posing as tourists and students. Israel’s warm appreciation was conveyed by visiting caretaker PM Yair Lapid and signaled the recent thawing of relations between the two governments.
Fearing that the incident portended an order by President Recep Erdogan to crack down on all anti-Israel terrorist activity from his country, including the hosting of Hamas bases, the Palestinian group is acting to restore its ties with Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hizballah, as well as seeking reconciliation with Syria’s Bashar Assad. They hope to recover their old bases of operation in Syria, that were lost when the Palestinians backed the losing side in Syria’s civil war.