ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency
Israeli riot police clash with Palestinian demonstrators at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound following Friday prayers on March 8, 2013. Palestinians enraged by reports that an Israeli policeman mishandled a Koran battled riot officers at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound with stones and petrol bombs, police and witnesses said. AFP photo
The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement yesterday condemning a raid on the Masjid al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem by Israeli forces following the Friday prayers.
Police officers fired stun grenades and rubber coated metal bullets during clashes with Palestinian protestors in the compound while worshippers were attending prayers.
“Israel has to avoid this sort of behavior, which can create tensions such as was seen in the past,” the statement read, emphasizing the holiness of the al-Aqsa mosque for Muslims. “We call on the international community to condemn Israel, who illegally occupies East Jerusalem, in order to prevent these sort of incidents from happening again,” it said. The Al-Aqsa mosque is the second oldest mosque in Islam and third in terms of holiness after the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.
The statement also read that Turkey would continue its efforts for the protection of Jerusalem’s religious identity.
Following the incident police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that about 100 protesters, many of them masked, had thrown petrol bombs at the police.