Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has condemned most strongly the Israeli security forces for storming into Al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday. In a statement issued on Thursday, the Turkish government noted that the Israelis also prevented Muslim worshippers from entering the sacred precinct. Those who were already inside the mosque were ejected by the Israeli forces; a number of Palestinians were injured during the incident.
The government in Ankara expressed its concern at Israel’s policies and practices in and around Al-Aqsa, describing them as “provocative”. Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third holiest site for Muslims; Israeli actions, said the Turks, are likely to increase tension and instability in the whole region. The foreign ministry called on Israel to stop violating Muslims’ right to freedom of worship.
Israeli police used tear gas when they stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday in a bid to drive worshippers from the site and allow illegal Jewish settlers to enter the building for a special feast day. Clashes erupted between police and Palestinian worshippers.