Turkish officials are denying media reports that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was promised $300 million during his visit to Turkey earlier this month.
"There is no cash aid to Hamas, but Turkey is, of course, engaged in projects to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza," a Turkish foreign ministry official told the Turkish paper Today's Zaman, "A $40 million hospital project is one of them, but the construction material for the hospital is not allowed in Gaza."
On Friday, Reuters quoted a diplomat in Syria saying that there has been a void in aid from Iran to Hamas since August, and Haniyeh was believed to have "'received promises from Turkey to provide the movement and his administration with $300 million a year to help Gaza.'"
In December, the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) alleged that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to provide $300 million to Hamas in a confidential letter Haniyeh.
A high-ranking Hamas official told the Qatar-based Al-Sharq newspaper that Haniyeh's tour in Turkey opened the door to financial cooperation between Turkey and Hamas, and that Hamas will open an office in Turkey in the coming weeks.
In response, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said "Turkey is one of the strongest supporters of the Palestinian cause. And Hamas is an important political formation which participated and succeeded in the elections."
"Our contact [with Hamas] has been constant, but we will have to wait and see what has come out of the frequent visits," he added.
Update: Israeli President Shimon Peres isn't buying Turkey's denials, telling a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos that "Turkey has transferred resources to fund the infrastructure of Hamas," with $900 million which "has strengthened terrorist networks in the region,"