Israel takes advantage of division in the Muslim world, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned yesterday.

“Israel is attempting to change the Islamic character of Jerusalem and take advantage of division between Muslims,” Erdoğan said in a speech at the World Islamic Congress held yesterday in Ankara.

He called on Israel to respect human rights and Jerusalem conventions: “We must not close the door of Al-Aqsa against Muslims of the world,” he said.

The Turkish president stressed that the Israeli decision to remove the metal detectors at the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque is “a step in the right direction, but it is not enough”.

Protecting the holy site, he stressed, is “a duty of the entire Islamic world; not just Palestine”.

Erdoğan also noted that Israel must avoid policies that put the region in “a chamber of fire” and stop threatening others if it wants to “live in peace in this world”.

Since 16 July Israeli occupation forces have escalated violence against Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank who were protesting metal detectors installed by the Israeli forces at the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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