Erdoğan warns against threats to Al-Aqsa, in call with Israeli leader

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on Israelis and Palestinians to take the utmost care to protect the sacred sites in Jerusalem, as he expressed his sadness over the scores of Palestinians injured in incidents caused by radical Israeli groups and security forces.

Erdoğan spoke with Israeli President Isaac Herzog on the phone late April 19 after the escalation between the two sites, particularly around the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The conversation came as Ankara and Tel Aviv are in talks for the normalization of their ties.

"It has deeply saddened us that over 400 Palestinians have been injured and 18 people, including children, have been killed in the incidents that have been taking place in the West Bank and Al-Aqsa Mosque since the beginning of the Ramadan month," Erdoğan told Herzog, according to a statement issued by the Presidential Communications Directorate.

"We have been further saddened by the undesired scenes that were witnessed when fanatic groups raided Al-Aqsa Mosque and interventions took place afterward following the morning prayer yesterday and the day before yesterday, as well as by the fact that the tensions spilled over to Gaza as well," he added.

Erdoğan recalled that such undesired scenes are witnessed every year because of some radical groups in Israel, reiterating his call on Tel Aviv "not to allow provocations and threats against Al-Aqsa Mosque's status and spirituality during this sensitive period."

"I reiterate my call for all to take the utmost care to protect the spirituality of this sacred site and of these sacred days. As Turkey, we will continue to work for establishing peace and serenity under all circumstances," Erdoğan added.

Erdogan, Al Aqsa,

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