Turkish authorities have warned that any change in the current status of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, as proposed by the United States, would lead to a major catastrophe in the region.
“If the status of Jerusalem (al-Quds) is changed and another step is taken … that would be a major catastrophe,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Monday, adding, “It would completely destroy the fragile peace process in the region, and lead to new conflicts, new disputes and new unrest.”
The remarks came amid reports that the administration of US President Donald Trump was considering recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s new capital.
Experts say Trump is seeking to compensate for a withdrawal from his pledges during last year’s election campaign that he would move the US embassy in the occupied Palestinian territories from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.
The entire Jerusalem al-Quds is under Israel’s occupation, including its eastern neighborhood, which is home to al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.
The international community views Israel’s grip on East Jerusalem al-Quds, which took place in the Six-Day War of 1967, as an “occupation.” It also insists that the fate of the city should be decided in negotiations.
Palestinian authorities have warned against the ramifications of a US potential recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital, trying to rally international support against it.
Bozdag said the move would create a new mess for the Middle East region.
“It would not benefit anything. Rather than open new doors, it would drag the region into a new disaster,” said the official, who also serves as the spokesman of the Turkish government.
Turkey allowed a restoration of diplomatic ties with Israel in June 2016, six years after an Israeli raid on a Turkish aid ship bound for the besieged Palestinian Gaza Strip that left several people killed.