Source: The Guardian
By Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem
Israeli officials brand Turkish president’s comments ‘absurd’ as unrest continues at Jerusalem’s holy sites
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has intervened in the continuing crisis surrounding the Jerusalem holy sites by accusing Israel of undermining the city’s “Islamic character”, in comments likely to further inflame regional tensions.
The comments by Erdoğan, which came as Muslim leaders called on Palestinians to continue prayers and protests in the city, triggered an immediate tit-for-tat with Israeli officials, who said the accusation was “absurd” and pointed to Turkey’s own human rights record.
Protests have been held each evening outside the compound housing Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque after Israel introduced new security measures, which followed the killing of two Israeli police officers at the entrance to the shrine by three Israeli Arabs.