December 25, 2017 / 2:38 PM / 5 months ago

Israel orders deportation of two Turks after Jerusalem arrests

JERUSALEM (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.

Two (L and R) of three Turkish tourists which Israel has ordered the deportation of two of them, after being arrested in Jerusalem on December 22, are seen during a demonstration on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, December 22, 2017. Picture taken December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

The three were detained on Friday on suspicion of assaulting Israeli police near a 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.

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

Israeli police had described the three as Turkish tourists.

Slideshow (3 Images)

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.

Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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