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Turkish opposition official slams Israel over Al-Aqsa

TURKISH OPPOSITION OFFICIAL SLAMS ISRAEL OVER AL-AQSA

The parliamentary group chairman of opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has slammed Israeli restrictions on Muslims wishing to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Speaking in the parliament on Tuesday, Erhan Usta condemned Israel's order to close the Al-Aqsa mosque to worshippers.

Usta also mentioned Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan's remarks on Al-Aqsa Mosque: "Al-Aqsa Mosque is in our power. Israel has the first and the last word on closing and opening of it."

The MHP senior official condemned the Israeli attitude.

"Jerusalem is virtually under blockade...It is impossible to accept this attitude of Israel. I condemn this attitude," Usta said.

"It is also unacceptable that the international community remains silent on this issue."

Three Palestinians and two Israeli policemen were killed during a shootout near the flashpoint holy site in east Jerusalem.

Israeli authorities closed down the Al-Aqsa compound following the attack and cancelled the weekly Friday prayers for the first time in nearly five decades.

Israeli police have beefed up security, deploying hundreds of troops and erecting roadblocks at the entrances of Jerusalem's Old City, barring non-residents from entering.

The Israeli government said the closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque will continue until Sunday, where an assessment session will be held before it is reopened gradually.

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