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Turkey Condemns Right-Wing Israeli Minister Ben Gvir’s Raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque

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The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Sunday “strongly” condemned the storming of the far-right Israeli Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, into the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

“We strongly condemn the Israeli Minister of National Security’s storming of the Haram al-Sharif on May 21, under the protection of Israeli security forces, in clear violation of international law,” the ministry said in a written statement.

Entering the Haram al-Sharif area early in the morning with private guards and under the protection of Israeli forces, Ben Gvir claimed Israeli ownership of the compound in a video message from the mosque’s courtyard.

Ankara called on Israel to “act responsibly and stop all kinds of provocative actions that violate the historical status of the Haram al-Sharif based on international law.”

“It is in no way acceptable for members of the Israeli government to challenge the historical status of the Haram al-Sharif in this way and commit incitement and fascist acts,” the Turkish ministry added.

This is the second time that Ben Gvir has entered the compound since he assumed the position of Minister of National Security in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government last December.

Ben Gvir entered Al-Aqsa Mosque on January 3, days after he took office, and with this action, he became the first alternate Israeli minister to enter the mosque in five years.

Because he espouses far-right views toward the Palestinians and has called for their displacement, Ben Gvir has repeatedly joined Israeli settlers in storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the third holiest site in the world. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two synagogues in ancient times.

East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move not recognized by the international community.

Last November, Israeli President Isaac Herzog warned in a leaked audio recording that “the whole world is worried” about Ben Gvir’s far-right views.

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