Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip ErdoganReuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday criticized Israel’s actions following the tensions on the Temple Mount.

"What's happening in Al-Aqsa is a great sadness for us," Erdogan said in a speech, according to the Daily Sabah.

"We discussed such matters with Israeli President Isaac Herzog when he was in Ankara; we hope that such actions won't be repeated in the future," he added.

Earlier, a spokesman for Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party said, "We do not accept and strongly condemn Israeli violence against Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound."

The comments come a day after Arabs attacked a group of Jews wrapped in prayer shawls who were walking in the Old City on their way to morning prayers at the Western Wall.

Border Police officers responded to the attack and chased down the attackers, arresting two of them.

This incident followed clashes at the Temple Mount early Friday morning, when hundreds of Arab rioters armed with rocks barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

After six hours of rioting, Israeli police managed to remove the rioters from the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Police forces also entered the Temple Mount on Sunday morning following an attempt by Arabs to disrupt public order and prevent Jewish visits to the site.

Erdogan’s comments follow his efforts to improve the strained relations between his country and Israel. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke on the phone with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu in January, the first public telephone conversation between an Israeli foreign minister and a Turkish foreign minister in 13 years.

Turkey and Israel signed a comprehensive reconciliation deal in 2016, ending a six-year diplomatic standoff following a violent encounter between Israeli soldiers and Islamist radicals on a ship attempting to break through the security blockade on Gaza.

Even after the deal was signed, however, Erdogan continued to verbally attack Israel. Several months ago, however, President Isaac Herzog and Erdogan held a lengthy conversation shortly after Herzog took office.

Herzog recently visited Turkey, where he was received with an honor guard by Erdogan. Herzog thus became the first Israeli leader to visit Turkey since 2008.