Despite removing the metal detectors and security cameras, Muslim worshippers refused to enter the Temple Mount, praying outside of the compound. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of “trying to steal al-Aqsa.”

Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News Erdogan harshly criticizes Israel

Even after removing the metal detectors and security cameras that were installed at the Temple Mount entrance, Muslim worshippers still did not return today (Tuesday) to the Temple Mount, leaving the compound empty. The morning prayers took place outside of the Temple Mount gates despite the recent security changes. Today, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called upon all Muslims “to visit Jerusalem and defend it.” According to Erdogan, “Israel is trying to steal al-Aqsa from the Muslims under the pretext of terrorism.”

“Israel’s legitimization is logical as long as it respects the Palestinians’ rights: Israel is aware of the fact that the entrance restrictions to al-Aqsa do not stem from security considerations,” Erdogan added. Muslim officials called for believers not to go to al-Aqsa, due to the change in the security system, until the meeting ends between the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf’s leaders and the Muslim leadership regarding the issue. “Our position at this point is that no one should enter,” stated one of the leaders.

“We are not satisfied with the Security Cabinet’s decision and we will continue praying outside, also today,” Jerusalem’s mufti told Channel 2 News. “The Security Cabinet needs to decide not only about removing the metal detectors, but also about removing all means of inspection. Muslims need to enter all of the gates freely.”