Israel Orders Deportation of Turkish Nationals Arrested During Jerusalem Protests

Three were arrested on Friday during anti-Trump protests near the Temple Mount, and were released the next day despite a police request to extend their detention

Two Turkish nationals who were later arrested by Israel Police during anti-Trump demonstrations in Jerusalem, December 22, 2017.
AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS

Israel has ordered the deportation of two of three Turks who were briefly arrested during Palestinian demonstrations last week after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

The three were detained on Friday on suspicion of assaulting Israeli police near Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians see as the capital of their own future state. An Israeli court freed them without charges on Saturday, despite a police request to extend their detention.

An Interior Ministry spokeswoman said one of the men was scheduled for deportation later on Monday and another on Saturday. The third was already deported. She said both had entered Israel on Belgian passports.

A photograph circulated on social media showed them among a group of fez-wearing men and boys outside Al-Aqsa. One is seen wearing a Turkish flag T-shirt and waving a Palestinian flag, while two hold up pictures of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan has been vocal in opposing Trump’s Jerusalem move, which reversed decades of U.S. policy over the status of a city whose eastern sector Israel captured in the 1967 war and which is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

The Interior Ministry spokeswoman said she had no information on the third Turk who had been arrested in the case.