Turkey calls on Islamic world to stop 'apartheid Israel's heinous, cruel attacks'

Turkey has called on the Islamic world to stop Israel's "heinous and cruel attacks" following clashes near the Al-Aqsa Mosque. "To humanity, we say: It’s time to put this apartheid state in its place!" Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said.

Duvar English - Anadolu Agency

Turkey on May 10 reiterated its call on Israel to end its attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem amid recent Israeli police attacks on worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"Israel must stop attacking Palestinians in Jerusalem and prevent the occupiers/settlers from entering the Holy Mosque. Israel bears sole responsibility for any violence," Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on Twitter. 

He urged the international community to "act to stop this never-ending Israeli aggression against unarmed civilians in their own land."

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also took to Twitter to slam Israel. 

"Those who do not speak out against this atrocity should not talk about the Middle East Peace Process," Çavuşoğlu said.

He expressed Turkey's solidarity with the Palestinian people, saying it "will continue to be the voice of our Palestinian brothers and sisters and defend their rights!"

Communications Director Fahrettin Altun called on the Islamic world to stop Israel’s "heinous and cruel attacks."

"To humanity, we say: It’s time to put this apartheid state in its place! That is our historic and human responsibility. We will keep fighting this oppressive order even if we are left all alone!" Altun said on Twitter.

"Turkey has had a strong fight against this tyrannical order so far under the leadership of our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan," he added.

Separately, Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran on Twitter also called on Israel to lift the blockade at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and end violence against Palestinians.

"International public opinion must urge Israeli state and its extremist groups to stop reckless and irresponsible practices," he said.

Palestinian protesters threw rocks and Israeli police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets in clashes outside Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on May 10, as Israel marked the anniversary of its capture of parts of the city in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said at least 305 Palestinians were injured in the violence, and 228 of them were taken to hospital. Several of the Palestinians were in critical condition and police said 21 officers were injured.

Israeli police detain a Palestinian during clashes at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City, May 10, 2021.

Al-Aqsa, which is Islam's third-holiest site, has been a focal point of violence in Jerusalem throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and the clashes have raised international concern about wider conflict.

The White House had called on Israel to ensure calm during "Jerusalem Day", its annual celebration of the capture of East Jerusalem and the walled Old City that is home to Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy sites.

In an effort to ease the situation, Israeli police banned Jewish groups from paying Jerusalem Day visits to the holy plaza that houses Al-Aqsa, and which Jews revere as the site of biblical Jewish temples.

At al-Aqsa, police fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets at hundreds of Palestinians who hurled rocks at them in the morning, witnesses said.

The violence at the holy compound abated several hours later and witnesses said Israeli police pulled back and began allowing Palestinians over the age of 40, deemed less likely to take part in confrontations, to enter.

Israel views all of Jerusalem as its capital, including the eastern part that it annexed in a move that has not won international recognition. Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a state they seek in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Tensions have also been fuelled by the planned evictions of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

Prayers heard across Turkey for Al-Aqsa Mosque

Separately, prayers were heard in all mosques across Turkey for the Al-Aqsa Mosque in line with Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) head Ali Erbaş's orders. 

"Occupying terrorist state Israel is up to the ugliest attempt against Al-Aqsa Mosque" Erbaş said.