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Turkey Invites Nasrallah, Who Fears IDF will Kill Him En Route

Iran may provide security for Hizbullah head Nasrallah to prevent assassination by IDF en route to Turkey, after Erdogan invites him.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/10/2010, 8:03 PM / Last Update: 6/10/2010, 8:26 PM

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Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has reportedly invited senior Hizbullah terrorist Hassan Nasrallah to Ankara. However, Nasrallah fears the IDF will assassinate him if he emerges from the hiding places in Lebanon he hs been in since the Second Lebanon War. Iran may therefore provide security for Nasrallah, Kuwaiti paper Al-Siyasa reported Thursday.

Not only is Erdogan to meet Nasrallah, but he is apparently to do so in accordance with advice from Hamas's leader, Khaled Mashaal. Mashaal recently told Erdogan that a meeting with Nasrallah would increase his popularity in the Arab street, Al-Siyasa claimed.

Nasrallah is reported to be pleased with the invitation. However, while he hopes to respond to Erdogan's invitation in the affirmative, the Hizbullah chief apparently fears that a trip to Ankara could give Israel an opportunity to assassinate him.

In order to safely visit Turkey, Nasrallah will receive aid from Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Both Iran and Hizbullah will ask Turkey to allow armed Revolutionary Guard soldiers onto Turkish territory in order to provide security.

Turkey has grown increasingly hostile to Israel under Erdogan's rule. Erdogan harshly criticized Israel following the early 2009 Cast Lead counter-terror offensive, and soon afterward canceled joint Turkish-Israeli military exercises while conducting joint exercises with Syria. A series on Turkish television depicted Israeli soldiers kidnapping babies and murdering innocent Arab children in cold blood.

In March 2010, Erdogan told Arab media that sites such as the Temple Mount and the Tomb of the Patriarchs had never been Jewish, and said PA Arab demands were “top priority” for his government.

In May, Turkey backed the Gaza-bound flotilla that included the Mavi Marmara, despite the IHH's known ties to Islamic terrorism. The resulting incident last week, in which Israeli soldiers clashed with members of the IHH aboard the Mavi Marmara, raised concerns over Turkey's increasing hostility to Israel and friendship with Gaza and Iran. The invitation to Nasrallah would be yet another Turkish step away from Israel and toward Iran.