“We will continue to defend the rights of the Palestinians and the religious sanctuaries in Jerusalem for the Muslim world until our last breath,” Erdogan said.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, calling him a “murderer who oppresses the Palestinian nation.” Erdogan made his comments in the context of recent tensions on the Temple Mount.
On Tuesday, Israel closed the Temple Mount after Palestinians firebombed an Israeli police post on the site. One policeman was lightly injured from smoke inhalation. The Temple Mount was reopened on Wednesday. Tension remains high.
“We will continue to defend the rights of the Palestinians and the religious sanctuaries in Jerusalem for the Muslim world until our last breath. Instead of ending the occupation, he is working to attack me on social networks in order to win votes in the elections,” Erdogan said of Netanyahu.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu wrote on Twitter: “The Turkish tyrant Erdogan attacks Israeli democracy, while judges and journalists are sitting in jail. What a joke. Israel is a democracy in which all its citizens have equal rights, including two million Arab citizens.”
In recent years, Turkey has been jockeying for influence on the Temple Mount, viewed as Islam’s third-holiest site. The country, under Erdogan’s direction, has been pouring funds into the eastern, heavily Arab parts of the city to gain influence.
The Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, is where the first and second Holy Temples stood.
Israel Hayom reported in July, 2018 that the Istanbul-based Our Heritage Foundation in Jerusalem, has spend $40 million “refurbishing 46 mosques and 70 apartments, and completely refurnishing apartments near the Temple Mount compound.”