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Turkey detains 34 people suspected of connections to Israel’s Mossad

WorldTurkey detains 34 people suspected of connections to Israel's Mossad

Turkish authorities have detained 34 people suspected of being linked to Israel’s Mossad intelligence service and of targeting Palestinians living in Turkey, a senior Turkish official said on Tuesday.

These individuals are alleged to have targeted Palestinians in Turkey, and there are assertions that Mossad has recruited members within the country.

There has been no immediate comment issued by either the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office or the Foreign Ministry regarding the arrests.

Last month, Turkish officials cautioned Israel against pursuing members of the militant group Hamas residing outside Palestinian territories, including in Turkey, warning of “serious consequences.” President Tayyip Erdogan emphasized that such actions would be a grave mistake.

Turkey does not classify Hamas as a terrorist organization, unlike many Western allies and some Arab nations.

An official reported that police conducted raids in eight provinces as part of an investigation led by the MIT intelligence agency and the Istanbul prosecutor’s counter-terrorism bureau.

“The Israeli Intelligence Service is recruiting personnel to be used in acts against Palestinians residing in our country and their families,” the official said, adding it used job postings on social media to establish contact and later used encrypted messaging platforms to maintain communications with contacts.

“It uses intermediaries/live couriers for payments to be made to its contacts. It tries to lose trace of the money by using cryptocurrency and a (money) transfer system,” the person said, adding Turkey’s operations against people linked to Mossad would continue.

Previously, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya announced the detention of suspects across 57 locations, including Istanbul, under the codename “Operation Mole.” He said that these individuals were suspected of intending to identify, surveil, attack, and potentially abduct foreign nationals residing in Turkey.

The official said the suspects were also spreading fake news and disinformation, carrying out robberies and blackmail for the Israeli intelligence. Mossad arranged meetings and training for the suspects abroad, the person added.

Turkey has harshly criticised Israel for its bombardment of Gaza in its war with Hamas, with Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly exchanging barbs last week.

Yerlikaya said authorities had also found large amounts of foreign currency, including around 150,000 euros ($165,100), an unregistered firearm, and digital materials during the raids.

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