Ankara, Turkey | AFP | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused Israel of flouting international law in the crisis over security measures at a sensitive Jerusalem holy site, saying the Jewish state was harming itself and the region.
Israel installed metal detectors at entrances to the Haram al-Sharif mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, after an attack on July 14 that killed two policemen. The move has enraged the Palestinians.
“With such a disregard of the law, Israel is harming not just itself but the whole region,” Erdogan told reporters at Ankara airport after returning from a trip to the Gulf.
The Turkish leader described the moves by Israel as “unacceptable” and said that they could not be left “in silence and without a reply”.
“Israel is mistaken in the steps it has taken and — I will say this very openly — is heading into isolation,” he added.
Erdogan’s comments came after a weekend of deadly violence, while an Israeli guard at Israel’s embassy in Amman shot two Jordanians dead after an attack.
Last year Turkey and Israel ended a rift triggered by Israel’s deadly storming in 2010 of a Gaza-bound ship that left 10 Turkish activists dead.
But Erdogan, who regards himself a champion of the Palestinian cause, is still often critical of Israeli policy and his comments on the crisis have been among his toughest on Israel since the reconciliation deal.