Israel queries Turkey over Erdogan's apartheid remarks

In an anti-Israel tirade on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for thousands of Muslims to ascend the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. "Why do hundreds of millions of Muslims not visit Al Quds", he said, using the Muslim term for Har HaBayis.

Erdogan also criticized an Israeli bill that would limit the volume of the Muslim call to prayer.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry accused Erdogan of "systematically" violating human rights and said he "should not preach morality".

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "was and will remain" an enemy of Israel, the speaker of the Israeli parliament said on Tuesday.

He said Turkey would continue to support the "diplomatic efforts led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas" and called on the worldwide community to "show needed care" on Jerusalem-related issues.

"What's the difference of Israel's current practices from the racist and discriminatory policies implemented towards the blacks in America in the past, and in South Africa more recently?" he asked.

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The Israeli president, Reuven Rivlin, during a meeting with the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in Jerusalem, said in response to Erdoğan's remarks: "We have heard voices which attack Israel for building Jewish life in Jerusalem".

"Here is the only solution: the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of 1967", he said, according to Anadolu.

Erdogan - speaking at an event in Istanbul that focused on the Middle East conflict - also cautioned the United States not to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

On Monday, the Turkish president returned to form, appearing at a festival of Turkish support for Palestinian control of Jerusalem's holy sites being held in Istanbul.

Erdogan historically has been a sharp critic of Israel. Later, the two nations dispatched their respective ambassadors to Ankara and Tel Aviv, restoring public diplomatic relations.

Israel and Turkey mutually posted ambassadors in 2016 after over six years of strife stemming from an Israeli naval raid on an aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip that left 10 Turkish citizens dead.

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