Erdogan: Let’s defend Palestine just as we defend Mecca and Medina

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Facebook)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of “exceeding the boundaries” regarding recent increases in security at the Temple Mount, calling to “defend Palestine just as we defend Mecca and Medina”.

Speaking before Turkey’s Parliament on Tuesday, Erdogan gave an address centered on attacking Israel, calling on Muslims to resist Israel and defend Al-Aqsa.

Erdogan called on Muslims to make a pilgrimage to “Palestine”, calling on Muslims to defend Al-Aqsa “just as we defend Mecca and Medina”. He stated “I call on all Muslims around the world to go on a pilgrimage to Al-Aqsa, to Palestine, if they are able to, or find a way and help our brothers therein if they’re unable to travel. The more we defend Al-Aqsa, the fiercer the resistance will be. If Israeli soldiers are dirtying Al-Aqsa with their boots, the reason is we fail to defend it decently. Let’s defend Palestine just as we defend Mecca and Medina.”

Addressing Israel, he stated, “Israel, which shows no respect for the Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock, will see itself suffer the most damage… Israel has taken a dangerous path. By occupying the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Israel has exceeded the boundaries.”

He went on to accuse Israel of “relying on its backers” with “weapons at its disposal” claiming Israel has made a mistake over its increases in security.

On Tuesday, Israel’s Security Cabinet ordered the removal of metal detectors at the Lion’s Gate entrance to the Temple Mount. The Waqf, Palestinian Authority and Arab states rebuked Israel’s continued use of “smart cameras” calling on the State of Israel to remove all newly implemented security in order for protests to end. Muslims worshippers have been praying in the streets outside of the Temple Mount, refusing to enter.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded to Erdogan, calling on the Turkish President to deal with Turkey’s “problems and difficulties”, reaffirming that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel.

Emmanuel Nachshon of the Ministry stated that Erdogan “would do better to deal with the problems and difficulties in his country. The days of the Ottoman Empire are over.” On Jerusalem, he stated “The capital of the Jewish people was, is and always will be Jerusalem. As opposed to the past, this is a city where the government is committed to its security, liberty, freedom of worship, and respect of the rights of all minorities.”

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, July 26, 2017, and reposted with permission.