Israel’s Ha’aretz says Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have warned Israel about increasing Turkish activities in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Ha’aretz said the trio had told the regime about “an attempt by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to ‘claim ownership over the Jerusalem [al-Quds] issue.'”
The daily wrote that Saudi Arabia had purportedly “expressed concern over Erdogan trying to mobilize the Jerusalem issue in order to boost his image across the Arab and Islamic world, and present himself as the only leader truly standing up to Israel and the Trump administration.”
Jordanian officials had specifically warned that Israel was “sleeping at the wheel” while Turkey carried out the activities, saying Tel Aviv was slow to react because of a reconciliation agreement it signed with Ankara in 2016.
“The main source of concern” for the Palestinian Authority was that Turkey’s support would boost groups that opposed the PA, and were closer to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in Gaza,” Ha’aretz added.
The daily, meanwhile, said Turkey was pushing its clout in East al-Quds through a range of activities, including by donating to certain organizations there. It also said Turkey-based groups, some with alleged ties to Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, had been organizing tours of East al-Quds and that Turkish activists had established “a prominent presence” in demonstrations around Haram al-Sharif in al-Quds’ Old City.
It also cited an Israeli police source as saying that the same groups were trying to buy real estate and strengthen their political standing in the city.
Ankara and Tel Aviv’s once close relations soured after Israeli commandos attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, 2010, killing nine Turkish citizens and injuring about 50 other people. A tenth Turkish national later succumbed to his injuries. The vessel was attempting to break the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Despite the reconciliation deal, Turkey ordered the Israeli ambassador to leave last month after the regime went on a killing spree of protesters in the Gaza Strip. Israel retaliated by expelling the Turkish consul general in al-Quds.
Last year, Trump recognized al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” in May, and said the US was moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy occupied city. It relocated the diplomatic mission in May.
Palestinians want the city’s eastern part as the capital of their future state.
Following Trump’s announcement, an overwhelming number of countries voted in favor of a resolution at the UN General Assembly, which called on Washington to withdraw the recognition.