Clashes at Islam's third-holiest site and around East Jerusalem, which injured at least 205 Palestinians and 17 police officers, came amid mounting anger over the potential eviction of Palestinians from homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denounced Israel as a “cruel terrorist state” in a speech in Ankara in which he referred to recent police clashes with Palestinians in Jerusalem.
His Saturday comments came after more than 200 people were wounded when Israeli forces violently attacked Palestinians who were praying at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound late on Friday.
This latest incident capped a week of unrest in the Holy City and the occupied West Bank.
‘Cruel terrorist state’
“Israel, the cruel terrorist state, attacks the Muslims in Jerusalem – whose only concern is to protect their homes ... and their sacred values – in a savage manner devoid of ethics,” Erdogan said.
The violence in Jerusalem was “an attack on all Muslims”, he said, adding that “protecting the honour of Jerusalem is a duty for every Muslim”.
He urged all countries, in particular Muslim countries, to react and called on the United Nations to “stop this persecution”.
Earlier on Saturday, Erdogan took to Twitter to condemn the violence.
“We strongly condemn the abominable attacks against the Al-Aqsa mosque... which are unfortunately carried out every Ramadan,” he wrote, referring to the Muslim month of fasting.
“We will continue to be at the side of our Palestinian brothers and sisters in all circumstances,” Erdogan pledged.
We strongly condemn Israel's heinous attacks against our first qibla #AlAqsaMosque, that are unfortunately being carried out every Ramadan.— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) May 8, 2021
As Turkey, we will continue to stand by our Palestinian brothers and sisters in all circumstances.
Around 300 people demonstrated on Saturday outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul in support of the Palestinians in Jerusalem.
Relations have been strained between Turkey and Israel ever since, with ambassadors being withdrawn in 2018 after the deaths of Palestinian protesters in the enclave.