Arab nations urge Israel to prevent Turkish encroachment in Jerusalem

Saudi Arabia and Jordan reportedly appealed to Israel to remain vigilant against Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s plan to establish a foothold in Jerusalem.

By: World Israel News Staff

According to a report in the Israeli media on Thursday, two Arab nations and the Palestinian Authority (PA) appealed to Israeli officials to prevent Turkey from broadening its influence in Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods and Islamic sites.

Specifically, Jordan and Saudi Arabia reached out to Israel, asking the Jewish state to prevent recently reelected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from trying to exert Turkish control over Muslim sites in the Jewish state’s capital, reported Haaretz.

The alarm was sounded by Riyadh and Amman based on Turkish Islamic associations’ recent sponsorship of activities and in Jerusalem and its machinations related to Temple Mount protests, which included staging confrontations with Israeli guards at the site.

Israeli security officials communicated to Haaretz that the situation is being closely monitored and confirmed that the Jordanians had been in contact with them, adding that Israel deported Turkish nationals fomenting unrest and barred them from reentry.

The officials also told the Israeli daily that Turkey through various charities had attempted to purchase property in Jerusalem, raising concerns on the part of the PA.

The report also said that the Saudis raised issues related to Erdogan’s Jerusalem maneuvering, which Riyadh sees as part of the Turkish leader’s strategy to increase influence over the Arab-Muslim world by emerging as Israel’s primary opponent in confrontations related to the city.

While Israel maintains sovereignty over Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, Jordan funds the Waqf Islamic Trust which oversees the holy site. Jordan therefore seeks to defend its position as a stakeholder in the administration of Israel’s capital.

Recent relations between Israel and Turkey have been fraught with conflict, with Ankara openly supporting the Hamas terror group in Gaza, which over the last three months has engaged in violent rioting, arson attacks, and rocket barrages targeting Israeli civilians.

While the two nations reached a detente in 2016, Erdogan has remained a vocal critic of Israel, which some commentators see as a political tactic designed to bolster his power within the Muslim world.