Ankara concerned about Ben-Gvir’s ‘provocative action against Al-Aqsa Mosque under protection of Israeli police,’ says Turkish Foreign Ministry
The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday condemned Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s “provocative actions against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem.”
“We are concerned about and condemn the provocative action of Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir against the Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the Israeli police,” said a Foreign Ministry statement.
The far-right minister entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex early Tuesday, a day after he announced he was postponing the visit due to warnings of unrest.
Ankara calls on Israel to “act responsibly to prevent such provocations that would violate the status and sanctity of religious sites in Jerusalem and cause escalation in the region,” it added.
Also, Ben-Gvir’s visit was massively condemned by Palestinians as an “unprecedented provocation.”
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in the world. Jews, on the other hand, refer to the area as the Temple Mount because two Jewish temples were located there in ancient times.
Ben-Gvir holds far-right views about Palestinians and has called for their expulsion.
He has repeatedly joined Israeli settlers in storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.
The far-right politician also caused a wave of escalation in the occupied city after he set up an office in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
In November 2022, Israeli President Isaac Herzog warned in a leaked audio clip that “the whole world is concerned” about Ben-Gvir’s extremist views.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, and annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognized by the international community.