June 30, 2018
New Delhi : According to a stunning report by Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Saudi Arbia ,Jordan and Palestine have warned Israel about Turkey’s increasing influence in occupied East Jerusalem,.
The report says that senior officials from the three Arab countries told Israel that Turkey was “extending its influence in Arab neighbourhoods of Jerusalem” which they said was “part of an attempt by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to “claim ownership over the Jerusalem issue”.
Israeli sources claimed to have been aware of Turkey’s expanding influence and say they have been monitoring Ankara’s efforts for more than a year.
According to the report, Jordanian officials are said to have been upset with Israel’s slow response which they described as “sleeping at the wheel”, especially since the signing of a 2016 reconciliation agreement which Israel is adamant to maintain.
Officials from the Palestinian Authority also expressed concern at Turkey’s drive to further its influence in occupied East Jerusalem which comes in the form of donations to Islamic organisations in Arab neighbourhoods or through organised tours by Turkish Muslim groups with close ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Israeli defence officials told the Israeli daily that the phenomenon had reached its peak in 2017 with hundreds of Turkish nationals establishing “a regular presence in and around the city” and increasingly clashing with police forces during Friday prayers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.