President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come out in attack against Israel for the second time in 24 hours.
Erdogan met last night with top-ranked Palestinian-Arab official Rami Hamdallah in Istanbul to discuss the subject of “Ways of protecting Jerusalem from Israel.”
The Ma’an news agency quoted a statement released by Hamdallah’s office, according to which Erdogan “confirmed the necessity of unifying efforts to protect Jerusalem against attempts of Judaization,” and called on as many Muslims as possible to visit the Temple Mount in order to emphasize the bond between Islam and the site.
Erdogan also said that “It is impossible to find a solution and peace in the region without finding a fair solution for the Palestinian cause first,” adding that “it is an obligation to establish a Palestinian state in the ‘67 borders - and as much pressure as possible needs to be exerted on Israel so that this will happen.”
He said that “Israel keeps escaping punishment, which leads it to escalated aggression against Palestinians,” and claimed that peace attempts will fail “unless Israel is held accountable for its crimes,” according to the Ma’an news agency.
Erdogan’s statements come on the heels of others he made calling on Muslims to ascend the Temple Mount as a show of solidarity with Palestinian-Arabs in their “fight for rights and justice,” and slammed Israel’s proposed Muezzin Bill, which seeks to lower the decibel level of muezzin calls in mosques during sleeping hours.
"The fact that those who talk about freedom of thought and faith at every opportunity actually approve this step by remaining silent is noteworthy. We will not allow the silencing of prayers from the heavens of Jerusalem,” he said.
In response to his statements, the foreign ministry lambasted Erdogan, noting that he had no right to criticize Israel in light of his systematic abuse of human rights.
"Whoever systematically violates human rights in his country should not preach morality to the only true democracy in the region. Israel adheres strictly to full freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims and Christians - and will continue to do so in spite of this baseless slander," the ministry said.