In a call to the Turkish president, albeit against the advice of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Rivlin slammed Erdogan for not denouncing last week’s deadly terror attack on the Temple Mount.
In a telephone conversation Thursday evening with Turkish President Recep Tayyip, President Reuven Rivlin conveyed Israel’s disappointment that Turkey had not condemned the terror attack last Friday, committed by Arabs with full Israeli citizenship, in which two Israeli Druze police officers were killed.
Rivlin made the call to Erdogan at the Turkish leader’s behest. Israel’s foreign ministry reportedly advised the head of state against complying with the request, saying that Erdogan had contributed to the anti-Israel incitement that results in terror attacks against the Jewish state.
Indeed, Erdogan had recently called on Muslims from around the world to swarm to the Temple Mount in a show of solidarity with the Palestinians.
“Every day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to Muslims,” Erdogan stated in May, encouraging Arabs to flood Judaism’s holiest site. “Visiting the Temple Mount would be the greatest support to our brothers there,” he declared.
“During their conversation, President Rivlin clarified to his Turkish counterpart that the terror attack perpetrated on Friday on the Temple Mount – a site holy for all – was intolerable, and crossed a red line which endangered the ability of all of us to live together,” Rivlin’s office said in a statement.
Rivlin reminded Erdogan that “after the terror attack in Turkey, the State of Israel was quick to condemn those criminal acts. He said Israel expected to hear similar condemnation from Turkey, with the understanding that terror was terror wherever it took place; in Jerusalem, in Istanbul, or in Paris.”
“Israel was maintaining and would continue to maintain the status quo at the holy sites,” the statement continued.
With regard to the metal detectors placed at the Muslim entrances to the site following Friday’s attack, “the steps taken on the Temple Mount were intended to ensure that such acts of terror could not be repeated, and that Israel was committed to safeguarding the lives of all the citizens who visited the holy places,” the statement concluded.
By: Adina Katz, World Israel News