Erdogan slams Israel's 'disregard of the law'

Turkish President accuses Israel of harming the region because of its security measures at the Temple Mount.

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Elad Benari,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday continued his verbal attacks against Israel, accusing the Jewish state was harming itself and the region because of its security measures at the Temple Mount.

"With such a disregard of the law, Israel is harming not just itself but the whole region," Erdogan told reporters at Ankara airport after returning from a trip to the Gulf.

The Turkish leader described the moves by Israel as "unacceptable" and said that they could not be left "in silence and without a reply".

"Israel is mistaken in the steps it has taken and -- I will say this very openly -- is heading into isolation," he said, in comments quoted by AFP.

Erdogan's rage was over Israel's placing of advanced security measures, including magnetometers, on the Temple Mount following the recent terrorist attack on the compound in which two Druze police officers were murdered.

The security measures prompted an outcry from the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Jordanian Waqf which administers the site, and the Jordanian government. The Waqf have refused to enter the compound in protest of the new measures and have prayed in the streets outside. In addition, Arabs have continuously rioted and clashed with Israeli security forces in and around the Old City.

On Monday night, the Security Cabinet decided that the magnetometers would be removed from the Temple Mount and replaced with new security measures based on advanced technologies.

Late last week, Erdogan blasted Israel over what he called its "excessive use of force" in the clashes over the Temple Mount.

Erdogan, who said he was speaking in his capacity as the current chairman of the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, called the security measures used by Israel on the compound "unacceptable".

The Turkish president was preceded by Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus,who blasted Israel's two-day closure of the Temple Mount following the terror attack as a "crime against humanity."

Turkey and Israel signed a reconciliation agreement last year, six years after their relations deteriorated following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

The ties between the countries remain volatile, however. In May, Erdogan spoke out angrilyover legal plans in Israel to prevent the use of loudspeakers on minarets to summon Muslims for nightly prayers.