Turkey’s Erdogan Speaks With Israel’s Herzog Over Jerusalem Unrest
i24 News – Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israel’s President Isaac Herzog spoke over the phone as Tuesday over the latest tensions in Jerusalem.
Violence surrounding Jerusalem’s Temple Mount resulted in over 150 Palestinians wounded and hundreds more detained over the weekend, prompting much of the Arab world — in the midst of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan — to condemn Israeli activities at the holy site.
Herzog reassured Erdogan that Israel is defending all prayer-goers, whether Jewish, Muslim, or Christian.
Contrary to “false reports,” he explained, Israel is maintaining the holy site’s status quo and protecting freedom of worship, adding that Israeli security forces are working to ensure such freedom “despite provocations.”
Herzog condemned the violence in Israel’s holy basin, but suggested that Erdogan should not listen to “the voices of incitement and mendacious propaganda.”
After giving Herzog his Passover holiday blessing, Erdogan expressed his “concern and pain” over the recent clashes between Israeli authorities and Palestinian demonstrators in Jerusalem.
He emphasized that the status quo is very important to the Muslim world, and that he was happy to hear that Israeli leaders were working to maintain it.
The two ended the talk with an agreement to continue working together “including in time of disagreement, to calm the situation and strengthen relations between Israel and Turkey.”
Earlier this month, Erdogan told his Israeli counterpart Herzog, whom he met in Ankara in March, that Turkey expected Israel to be sensitive over the al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.