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Bennett: Israel, Turkey Have Thwarted Several Terror Attacks

June 23, 2022

by: Ilse Strauss

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Istanbul, Turkey

Tuesday, 21 June 2022 | Prime Minister Naftali Bennett yesterday hailed the close cooperation between Israeli and Turkish security officials, crediting the collaboration with foiling several terror attacks on Israelis in Turkey and apprehending those responsible.

Israel is “working closely with Turkish officials to thwart attempts to strike Israelis and Jews,” Bennett explained during a press briefing. “The operational efforts alongside Turkish security forces have borne fruit. In recent days, in a joint Israeli–Turkish effort, we thwarted a number of attacks and a number of terrorists were arrested on Turkish soil.”

“Cooperation between Turkey and Israel is tight and is being carried out on all levels,” Bennet said.

He also thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for Ankara’s cooperation with Jerusalem “on all levels.”

The prime minister didn’t go into detail as to the number or type of attacks prevented or the nationalities of the prospective terrorists. He did, however, say that the threat was far from over.

“There’s an ongoing campaign in Turkey and a threat looming over Israelis in Turkey. We are working there on many different angles to keep our citizens safe. We will keep working together with the aim of bringing the situation back to normal and bringing Israeli tourists back to Turkey as soon as possible.”

Turkey—and particularly Istanbul—has recently served as the stage for the latest episode of the shadow war between Israel and Iran. Over the past few weeks, reports have surfaced of Iranian scientists and military officials dying under suspicious circumstances. In a number of instances, Tehran alluded to Israeli involvement in these deaths.

Late last month, Israel’s National Security Council issued a strict travel warning, urging Israelis to steer clear of Turkey—and particularly Istanbul—over fears that Iran might strike at citizens of the Jewish state in its neighboring country to exact revenge for its slain officials.

In the days since, Israeli media has been abuzz with reports of Iranian kidnapping attempts and Israel and Turkish rescue efforts that sound like something from a spy novel.

On Friday, senior Israeli officials warned of “concrete” threats of Iranian terror attacks planned against Israelis in Istanbul over the weekend, and urged all citizens to return home immediately. Those who stayed, they said, should remain in the relative safety of their hotels.

Two days later, President Isaac Herzog telephoned Erdoğan and thanked him for Ankara’s part in keeping Israelis in Turkey safe. A day later came Bennett’s admission.

Perhaps we will never know the details of what exactly happened in Turkey and of the magnitude of the tragedy the cooperation between Israel and Turkish forces prevented, but one thing is for certain: the shadow war between Israel and Iran is slowly coming out of the shadows.

Posted on June 23, 2022

Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 21, 2022)

Photo Credit: Harold Litwiler/

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