Dozens in Turkey protested outside Israel’s diplomatic mission in Istanbul against recent Israeli attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the threat of Palestinian evictions from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of the city.
The Istanbul branch of the Anatolian Youth Association group organized the protest outside Israel’s consulate-general, where the group chanted slogans against Israel and waved Palestinian and Turkish flags.
Speaking during the protest, branch head Yunus Genc stressed that the Al-Aqsa Mosque — the East Jerusalem site of many of the attacks in recent days by Israeli security forces against Palestinians — was a “red line of Muslims.”
He underlined that Muslims must defend the holy site, urging support for Jerusalem residents in this regard.
“We think Israel should start thinking of what kind of a revolution it will undergo and be overthrown very soon … It’s time to speak in the language the oppressors understand. The Grand National Assembly [parliament]of Turkey and Organization of Islamic Cooperation should convene,” he said.
Noting that Jerusalem was a common issue for all Muslims, he added that Israel did not refrain from “treacherous and terrorist” attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“Today, our first qibla, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as city of prophets Jerusalem and the fertile lands of Palestine are under occupation,” Genc said, adding that the occupation forces would be “repelled as swiftly” as they came to those lands.
According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, at least 305 people were injured when Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Monday and attacked Palestinians who were on guard to prevent possible raids by extremist Jews.
Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem since last week, when Israeli settlers swarmed in after an Israeli court ordered the eviction of Palestinian families.
Palestinians protesting in solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 — a move that has never been recognized by the international community.