Monday and Tuesday saw conflicting reports that Hamas head Khaled Mashaal, who has for the past several years been based in Qatar, was expelled from the country and preparing to take up residence in Turkey. Speculation began Monday night in Turkish media and continued into Tuesday afternoon, with both Doha and the terror group denying the report. The Washington Post on Tuesday noted that even though Doha has “lavished support on Hamas” in recent years, the Gulf state “has recently been trying to reconcile with Egypt, which asked that Qatar limit its support for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group, including its offshoot, Hamas.” Turkey is already home to several top Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders – notably Saleh al-Arouri, the architect of Hamas’s West Bank infrastructure and the believed to be behind several Hamas plots including the June kidnappings and murders of three Israeli boys, and Imad al-Alami, described by experts as a “founding father” of Hamas. Mashaal himself had made a surprise appearance at a rally in Turkey last month, during which he praised Ankara’s leadership and called for close Turkish-Palestinian ties to what Haaretz at the time described as a “fawning crowd” of demonstrators. Turkish backing of the terror group is nothing new – a 2012 report in Today’s Zaman suggested that Ankara was poised to become Hamas’s top financier – but Washington has begun to face increasing criticism over the NATO ally’s sponsoring of a terror group. Reporters at a State Department press briefing last month pressed Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf on whether Turkey could “continue to be a close partner and NATO ally if, in fact, it is supporting a designated terrorist organization?”
BGU researchers discover Alpha1-anti trypsin combats infections and eradicates bacteria. A research team at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has discovered that Alpha1-antitrypsin does a surprisingly good job killing bacteria as well as combating infections. The researchers sought the answer for what would be the consequence of treating individuals with immune-compromised conditions using alpha1 in so far as susceptibility to infections. Lead by Kaner Ziv and Shahaf Galit of the Lewis Lab at BGU, mice were directly infected with various strains of live bacteria at different infection sites, including lungs and gut. The initial aim was to exclude the possibility of worsening infection progression in treated mice. Yet the group stumbled upon highly unexpected outcomes: not only did the treated mice combat the infections better, but the bacteria that were directly introduced into the various compartments were practically eradicated by alpha1 therapy before the end of the first 24 hours; there were barely bacteria left to grow colonies on a plate. The team says the clinical implications of these findings are immense. (viaIsrael21c)
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