Turkey urges Israel to prevent ‘provocative’ raids on Al-Aqsa


The Foreign Ministry condemned the raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem that Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir and radical Jewish groups participated in, underlining that storming the holy site is an explicit violation of the status quo.

In a statement released Sunday, the ministry said the raids violate the status quo at the Al-Aqsa complex, which is also known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

“We invite the Israeli Government to take necessary precautions to ensure the protection of the status quo in the aforementioned holy sites and prevent provocative actions that would further escalate tensions in the region,” the ministry said.

Tension has been running high across the occupied Palestinian territories over a planned flag march by Israeli settlers to mark what they call the day of unifying Jerusalem, in reference to Israel’s occupation of the city in 1967.

On Sunday, at least 1,687 settlers forced their way into the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, according to the Jordan-run Islamic Waqf Department, which oversees holy sites in Jerusalem.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.

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