“We strongly condemn the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on May 18 by fanatical Jewish groups under police protection and their attempts to perform prayers in this area, once again violating the historical status quo at Haram Al-Sharif,” said the Foreign Ministry.
Ankara reiterated its call on the Israeli Government to not allow such “provocative actions and, to that end,” said a statement.
“We expect the necessary measures for the preservation of status quo in the holy places to be taken seriously and without delay,” said the ministry.
Tens of thousands of Israeli nationalists marched to Jerusalem’s Old City on May 18 in an annual flag-waving march commemorating Israel’s capture of it, as tensions on the Gaza border remained high.
Palestinians in annexed east Jerusalem closed their shops and were banned from the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City, a social hub, to make way for the marchers, some of whom attacked journalists with rocks and bottles, an AFP reporter said.
Police said they made two arrests over the attack, one an adult and one a minor. The United States, Israel’s main ally, on May 18 condemned demonstrators’ “racist” chants against Arabs.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the celebrations were being held in Jerusalem “75 years after it was reestablished as the capital of the reborn state of Israel, and 56 years after being reunited.”
Two of his extreme-right cabinet members, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, attended Thursday’s march, one of the events marking what Israelis refer to as Jerusalem Day.
The rally took place days into a ceasefire that ended deadly cross-border fighting with Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza.
Thirty-three people, including multiple civilians, were killed in the blockaded Palestinian enclave and two in Israel, a citizen and a Gazan laborer.
May 18’s march began in the western part of the city before passing into east Jerusalem and through the Old City to the Western Wall, where about 50,000 people took part in the Jewish evening prayer, according to local authorities.
“Today, we say to Hamas who threatened us: ‘Jerusalem is ours,’” Ben-Gvir said in a statement.