Erdoğan to Palestinian PM: 'protect Jerusalem against attempts of judaization'
After slamming Israel and calling on Muslims to flood the Al-Aqsa Mosque to show solidarity with the Palestinians and protect the site's Muslim character, Turkish President Erdoğan meets with Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah in Istanbul to reaffirm his commitment to ‘protecting’ Jerusalem.
The meeting came shortly after Erdoğan admonished Israel for the Muezzin Bill and called on Muslims to go to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the hundreds of thousands to show solidarity with the Palestinians and protect the site's Muslim character.
According to the report, the Palestinian prime minister updated Erdoğan on the Palestinian political situation with Israel and about “Israeli violations.” Hamdallah also provided details on the ongoing hunger strike of Palestinian security prisoners.
The Ma’an report added that a statement from Hamdallah said that Erdoğan “confirmed the necessity of unifying efforts to protect Jerusalem against attempts of judaization.”
The statement also stressed that Erdoğan called on Muslims to increase their visitation to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in eastern Jerusalem.
Due to the beliefs and “historical responsibilities” of Muslims, Erdoğan reportedly said, Turkey has given “huge attention to Jerusalem and to the struggle of Palestinians for justice,” and that the country is doubling its efforts “to make Jerusalem the city of security, independence and peace again.”
Erdoğan insisted that “it is impossible to find a solution and peace in the region without finding a fair solution for the Palestinian cause first,” according to the statement.
“The only solution” he said, was to establish Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and “exert pressure on Israel.”
Despite the reconciliation deal between Israel and Turkey that was signed last year, Erdoğan didn’t hold back in slamming Israel.
“Israel keeps getting away from punishment which leads it to escalated aggression against Palestinians,” he insisted, before adding that all peace-making attempts will fail “unless Israel is held accountable for its crimes.”
For his part, Hamdallah delivered a speech in which he accused Israel of “stealing land that belongs to legal owners,” adding that “Israel is trying to distort history and control the holy sites for Christians and Muslims.
“If the international community continues to remain silent about what is happening in Palestine, and especially in Jerusalem, Israel will widen its actions and the conflict will become a religious one.”
Israel issued a responded on Monday evening to the Turkish president, saying it is "worried" about his anti-Israel statement, adding that "we do not wish for escalation, we can end this crisis."
Erdoğan spoke with Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem and Turkish Amassador to Israel, Kemal Okem, following his fiery verbal attack in a conversation that was held at the behest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and was defined as a "clarification call" by diplomatic officials.