Is Turkey Bank Rolling the Clashes Over the Temple Mount?

For days, the Palestinian Arabs have been rioting over what is a simple security precaution involving metal detectors at all entrances to the Temple Mount. Metal detectors have long been installed at the Western Wall and at the entrance to the Temple Mount permited for Jews and tourists.

With the murder of two Druze policemen nearly ten days ago the government made a simple decision to install metal detectors at all the entrances.  Since that decision the Palestinian Arab population in Jerusalem has rioted, with Abbas not only continuing to incite violence, but going as far as breaking off security coordination with Israel.

“Relations with Israel are frozen at all levels until Israel announces that it is revoking its steps against the Palestinian people as a whole and against Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque in particular,” Abbas said in a brief televised speech after a meeting with his aides.

Surprisingly enough many Arab countries have remained neutral on the issue.  It is clear the Saudis would like nothing more than to see the Hashemite control over the mount be scaled back as they want to push back on Jordan for their partnership with the Qatar supported Muslim Brotherhood.

Sensing a Saudi move to push them off of the Temple Mount, Jordan agreed to meet Israel over the Temple Mount wthout the Palestinian Authority. The main reason behind the PA’s exclusion, was Abbas’ assistance that Turkey become involved.

Israel HaYom reported:

“Israel and Jordan are planning to form a joint committee to devise security arrangements on the Temple Mount that would be acceptable to all sides.”

The report continued:

“The committee will deal with a wide range of issues beyond the metal detectors installed at the entrances to the compound. Among these is the implementation of an arrangement Jordan and Israel agreed upon previously to install a closed circuit security camera system in sections of the Temple Mount complex. The arrangement has not yet been implemented because the Waqf has yet to begin the installation stipulated in the arrangement.”

“A senior Palestinian official in Ramallah confirmed these reports. He said that in response to Jordan’s snub, Abbas called for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take part in the talks to resolve the crisis. This in turn angered the Jordanian king and his supporters, the official said, as they view the Jordanian royal family as the sole custodians Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.”

Turkey has been itching to gain a foothold in Jerusalem for over a year as part of Erdogan’s dream of rebuilding the Ottoman empire. He has urged thousands of Muslims to descend on the Jerusalem ascent the Temple Mount in order to “protect it.”

In connection to the most recent tension, Erdogan said the following Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin:

“Within the framework of freedom of religion and worship there can be no impediment for Muslims” entering the holy site, the Anadolu news agency quoted Erdogan as telling Rivlin.

“Given the importance that Haram al-Sharif carries for the whole Islamic world, the metal detectors put in place by Israel should be removed in the shortest possible time and an end put to the tension,” Erdogan added.

With Turkey and Qatar getting pushed out of Gaza by the UAE and Egypt, the most natural move is to start a rumble over the Temple Mount. Jordan has acted cautiously and stepped back from the brink by reaching out to Israel. With a fading Abbas getting bankrolled by Turkey, the riots are sure to continue unless Jordan can reach a true compromise with Israel.