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Israel to deport Turkish tourists after detaining them for 3 days

Dec. 25, 2017 1:16 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 26, 2017 1:55 P.M.)
Palestinians stand behind an Israeli police barricade as they watch Jewish Israelis dance and sing to celebrate Jerusalem Day June 5, 2016 (MaanImages, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities reportedly informed three Turkish tourists that they would be deported back to their home county on Monday, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.

Wafa reported that the Turkish tourists would be deported upon their release from Israeli custody.

The three were detained by Israeli forces on Friday during confrontations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.

According to Wafa, they were arrested “on suspicion of assaulting [Israeli] police.”

The events came amid continued unrest across the occupied Palestinian territory over US President Donald Trump’s announcement earlier this month recognizing Jerusalem -- the Eastern part of which is occupied by Israel in violation of international law -- as the capital of Israel.

Trump’s announcement sparked widespread protests internationally and across the region. In the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and besieged Gaza Strip, protests are ongoing nearly three weeks after the announcement.

At least 14 Palestinians have been killed by Israel since the announcement, while thousands more have been injured.

Palestinian and Arab leaders warned Trump of causing instability and unrest in the region, with protests already being reported in cities across the West Bank and Jordan in response to the decision.

Despite repeatedly making the promise to move the embassy throughout his presidential campaign, in June, Trump signed a temporary order to keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv, a renewable six-month waiver that has been signed by every US President for the past two decades.

The move is being regarded as the first step to a drastic abdication of longstanding US policy that has largely adhered to international standards on Israel-Palestine, which maintains that East Jerusalem is an intricate part of occupied Palestinian territory and the capital of any future Palestinian state, despite Israel’s annexation of the territory.

The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the "Judaization" of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes.

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