Turkey on Sunday condemned Israeli forces for "violating the sanctity of Haram Al-Sharif" and allowing Israeli settlers to raid Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Foreign Ministry said in a written statement: "We condemn Israeli forces violating the sanctity of the Haram al-Sharif once again by allowing racist (Israeli) groups to raid Al-Aqsa Mosque, interrupting worshiping Palestinian civilians with stun grenades and detaining some Palestinian civilians, including children and women, in images that offend human dignity."
The statement added that it was "extremely dangerous" for such provocations to continue in the current environment where the tension caused by Israel's attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque in May is still fresh in minds.
"We reiterate our call on the Israeli government to end these provocative acts and attacks as soon as possible," it added.
More than 500 Israeli settlers forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex on Sunday amid tension over a planned setter incursion into the flashpoint site, according to a Palestinian agency.
In a statement, the Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem said the settlers broke into the complex through its Israeli-controlled Al-Mughrabi Gate, southwest of the mosque, and performed their rituals inside.
On Saturday, hundreds of settlers staged a march in occupied East Jerusalem ahead of their planned incursions.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.
Relations between Turkey and Israel drastically deteriorated in 2010 following the Israeli naval raid on the Mavi Marmara. The event caused an unprecedented crisis in the decadeslong peaceful Turkish-Israeli relations. Both countries even recalled their diplomatic envoys following the massacre.
In 2013, thanks to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology to Turkey and the payment of $20 million (about TL 38 million at the time) in compensation to the Mavi Marmara victims, Turkish-Israeli relations entered a period of normalization.
Turkish officials, however, continue to criticize Israel’s policies targeting Palestinians, including illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
During Israel's recent attacks on Palestinians, Turkish authorities intensified diplomatic efforts to put an end to Israeli aggression.
Known for its unbreakable solidarity with the Palestinians, Turkey has been voicing support for the Palestinian cause on the international stage for decades. Turkish authorities emphasize that the only way to achieve lasting peace and stability in the Middle East is through a fair and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue within the framework of international law and United Nations resolutions.
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