Report: Trump asked Israel to release, expel Turkish citizen

US President asked Israel to release Turkish woman accused of aiding Hamas in exchange for release of US pastor held in Turkey.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

צילום: Reuters

Israel expelled a Turkish citizen with ties to the Hamas terrorist organization Hamas at the request of US President Donald Trump, according to a report by the Washington Post Friday morning.

On July 16, Israel deported a 27-year-old Turkish woman suspected of working with the Hamas terror organization, returning her home to Turkey Sunday night.

Earlier this month, 27-year-old Ebru Ozkan was indicted in an IDF court in Samaria for working on behalf of a hostile organization, and transferring money to foreign agents.

Ozkan had been arrested by Israeli authorities at Ben Gurion International Airport in June as she prepared to board a flight home to Turkey, following a visit to Israel.

According to the Post, President Trump called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on July 14 to request Ozkan's release as part of a deal to secure the release of an American pastor held in Turkey.

Trump reportedly thought he had a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to trade Ozkan for Andrew Brunson, who has been imprisoned in Turkey since 2016.

However, Brunson was only released to house arrest. He was placed under very restrictive conditions and forbidden to leave Turkey.

When it became clear that Erdogan would not fulfill his end of the bargain and release Bruson, Trump threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey.

“The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being," Trump tweeted Thursday. “He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!"