Hamas set up its West Bank and Jerusalem Headquarters in Istanbul immediately following its expulsion from Damascus in 2011.
The headquarters in Turkey is engaged in locating West Bank and Gaza residents, as well as Israeli Arabs, who are studying in Turkey, Jordan, Syria and other Arab countries.
After initial screening, the recruits receive security clearances from the headquarters in Istanbul and are sent for military training just outside the city – under the watchful eye of Turkish intelligence officials.
Hundreds of recruits every year are trained in the use of light weapons, bomb-making and covert operations, and are then sent for additional training in Syria.
From there, they go to the West Bank to engage in terror activities and establish clandestine terror cells.
The Istanbul command center has been behind several of the violent events that have occurred in Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount in recent months.
The killers of the three Israeli teenagers prior to the summer 2014 Gaza war were also deployed by the headquarters in Turkey. Moreover, a significant portion of the arms in the hands of Hamas in the West Bank were purchased and sent there by the headquarters in Istanbul.