Hamas leader visits Turkish president over Al Aqsa clashes

Hamas leader Khaled Meshal met with Turkish president to discuss clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at Al Aqsa Mosque

Photo by: Anadolu Agency
Photo by: Anadolu Agency

Hamas leader Khaled Meshal and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seen in this file photo.

Updated Sep 17, 2015

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accepted Hamas leader Khaled Meshal with number of political chiefs on Monday in capital Ankara, after ongoing clashes at Al Aqsa Mosque, according to a presidential source speaking on condition of anonymity.

During the meeting, Erdogan was briefed by Hamas leader regarding the violence emerged at the Al Aqsa Mosque against the Palestinians while they were praying there. 

Erdogan strongly condemned the violence, which left at least 17 Palestinians injured and Meshal thanked Erdogan for backing Palestinians.

On the third day of clashes, a number of Israeli soldiers attacked and set foot on pulpit and roof of the Al Aqsa Mosque with their combat boots, considered a highly offensive action toward all Muslims and their holy site of prayer. 

Israeli forces used tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets on worshipers near the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Al Qibali Mosque.

Omar al-Qiswani, director of the Al Aqsa Mosque, said the gates of the holy site has been sealed by Israeli forces. They have obstructed all ages of men and women entiring the mosque and arrested several Palestinians whom they described as "stone throwers" while numerous cases of injured Palestinian women and men have been reported.

"At least 170 Israeli special forces and police stormed the compound through Al Magharabeh gate and started firing rubber bullets and stun grenades," Sheikh Azzam Al Khatib, director-general of the Al Aqsa Affairs, spoke to Anadolu Agency.

Tensions also has been heighthening around the Al Aqsa Mosque after some of extremist Jewish groups called for the destruction of the Al Aqsa Mosque in order to build a new Jewish temple in its place.

International reactions on the Israeli attacks

Spokesperson for the United States Department of State John Kirby also condemned the violence around the Al Aqsa Mosque.

"The United States is deeply concerned by the recent violence and escalating tensions surrounding the Haram Al Sharif, Temple Mount. We strongly condemn all acts of violence," Kirby said.

In Jordan, King Abdullah II said “We are very concerned and angry with the recent escalation in Jerusalem, specifically in the Al Aqsa Mosque.”

"Any more provocations in Jerusalem, will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel; and Jordan will have no choice, but to take action, unfortunately” the King added.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated the United Nations was also “concerned” at the violance at holy sites in Jerusalem.

Israel annexed east Jerusalem, where Al Aqsa is located, in the Six Day War of 1967. However, the international community overwhelmingly disapproved this takeover and never recognized it.


TRTWorld and agencies