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Turkey, Israel battle over Temple Mount

Israel is looking into the increased flow of donations from Turkey into Muslim groups active on the Temple Mount.

Israel and Turkey are again on a collision course. The official reason, at least this time, is not the blockade on Gaza or the diplomatic peace process with the Palestinians, but the Temple Mount. Israel’s Security Cabinet is supposed to devote one of its upcoming meetings to the activities and growing influence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the Temple Mount. Erdogan maintains this influence via a series of nonprofit associations that he funds, headed by the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA).

Turkish activity on the Temple Mount worries not only the Shin Bet, the Israel Police and the entire security system, but even the other contenders for the plaza: the Jordanians, the Palestinians, the Egyptians and even the Moroccans who view their king, Mohammed VI, as the keeper of the holy places. According to intelligence material that Israel has been accumulating, Erdogan is trying to snatch the Temple Mount and the title of “Protector of the Mount” in the name of all of Islam from all the other contenders to the throne. The first antagonist that is supposed to foil these schemes is, like always, Israel.

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