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10 February 2007
THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY
Excavations put in action by Israel to build a new bridge with the justification that the historical bridge in front of the Magharbeh Gate in Haram Al-Shareef in Jerusalem has been rendered useless, have led to a major reaction and as a result incidents erupted between the Palestinian demonstrators and the security forces.
Some sad events had happened in the past related to Haram Al-Shareef which is one of the holiest sites of the Islamic world. Hence, it is necessary to derive lessons from the past events and avoid attitudes and actions that would create new tensions.
In a period when hopes are raised for the revitalization of the peace process, there is need to act with common sense and responsibility to maintain this constructive atmosphere.
Unilateral acts directed to Haram Al-Shareef concern all Muslims and cause major indignation in the Islamic world. Therefore, it is our expectation that a course of conduct that respects the holiness of the site and does not lead to further escalation of the tension shall be adopted. We are bringing our views to the attention of the Israeli side.
Turkey, as the only member country of the Organization of the Islamic Conference that had a Consulate General in Jerusalem since 1925 shall keep monitoring the developments closely on the spot.