Two of the three Turkish tourists who were arrested on Friday at the entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on suspicion of assaulting police officers will be permanently removed from Israel, while the third suspect will be expelled for a month from the Old City.
The three suspects spent a day in detention and on Saturday night they were brought before a magistrate in the city who decided to release them under restrictive conditions—barred for a month from entering the Temple Mount and the Old City.
A photograph circulated on social media showed them among a group of fez-wearing men and boys outside Al-Aqsa. One is seen wearing a Turkish flag T-shirt and waving a Palestinian flag, while two hold up pictures of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The Turkish Anadolu state-run news agency reported that eye witnesses maintained the cops told the Turks they would have to remove their shirts if they wanted to enter the complex, and when the tourists refused a scuffle broke out.
Anadolu further said that the Turkish group arrived to Israel from Belgium and held dual Belgian-Turkish citizenships.
In light of the findings of the investigation into the incident, and at the request of the Jerusalem Police, the Interior Ministry opened a civil procedure on Sunday through the Immigration Authority, which held a hearing on the deportation of two of the suspects.
At the end of the hearing it was decided to deport one of them from Israel on Monday and another on Saturday. The third suspect holds a work permit, and therefore was removed only from the area of the Old City and the Temple Mount.
The Turkish tourists' deportation may further sour relations between Israel and Turkey. Despite a reconciliation agreement between the two countries in the wake of events surrounding the Marmara flotilla to Gaza, and despite the decision to completely normalize relations, Erdoğan has continually and scathingly attacked Israel over the past year.