World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has harshly condemned the Israeli offensive on Al-Aqsa Mosque, calling it "nothing but barbarity to the core."
A group of Israeli security forces and a number of Jewish settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem on Wednesday, according to Palestinian officials.
A Palestinian guard of the holy complex said Israeli security forces stormed into the compound's courtyards through Al-Magharbeh and Al-Silsila gates and began shooting randomly towards the worshippers and religious students, leaving scores injured.
Speaking after a briefing at the Turkish intelligence agency MIT, Davutoglu stressed that the Israeli aggression must receive a "stern response," and said Turkey always stood by the Palestinians.
"We strongly condemn that 35 people including a group of Israeli deputies forced their way into the Haram al-Sharif site, and the fact that Israeli police disregarded the spiritual values and sensitivities surrounding the Al-Aqsa mosque", the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
The statement said that the "ugly incidence constitutes a reckless breach of the holiness of the site as well as basic human rights including in particular the freedoms of belief and worship to be enjoyed by Muslims in the Al-Aqsa."
The violence came as several extremist Jewish groups called for mass intrusions into Al-Aqsa Mosque after the shooting a week ago of a rabbi, Yehuda Glick, who many considered to have extremist views, in Jerusalem by a Palestinian man.
The Turkish premier called on all Muslims to own and protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque, saying Jerusalem -- or Quds for Muslims – could not be "monopolized by a single religion."
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site, while Jews refer to the area as the Temple Mount, deeming it to be the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
"We will also make necessary efforts to ensure that the international community give the most active response against the Israeli aggression," said Davutoglu.
During the attack, heavily-armed Israeli security forces broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque with their boots on, knocked around Palestinians protesting their presence and threw around the Qurans in the mosque, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter.
Several international reporters and cameramen were also hit by rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas used by Israeli security forces against the Palestinians outside the complex.
Many of them, including AA correspondents, were injured after being physically assaulted by security forces.
Jordan recalled its ambassador from Israel to protest its "violations" in East Jerusalem, and announced that it would lodge a complaint with the UN Security Council over the "aggression."
Amman has asserted that Israel's latest actions in Jerusalem were undermining a treaty it had signed with the Jewish state in 1994, which gave Jordan oversight of Jerusalem's holy sites.
Tensions have mounted in the historic holy city since Israeli forces killed a young Palestinian man -- who had been suspected of shooting the rabbi -- in a raid last week on his East Jerusalem home.
Israeli authorities reopened Al-Aqsa last Friday following a day of violent clashes with Palestinian protesters, but barred male Muslim worshippers under 50 years old from entering the religious site.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned that the closing of the holy compound to Muslims constituted a "declaration of war" against the Palestinian people and their sacred sites.
Last Mod: 06 Kasım 2014, 10:55