ISTANBUL - The main grouping of the world’s Muslim nations on Tuesday accused Israel of staging provocative actions and inflaming tensions with the Palestinians in a crisis over security measures at a key holy site in Jerusalem.

Turkey hosted an extraordinary meeting in Istanbul of foreign ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that Ankara called to discuss the tensions in its current capacity as chairman of the body.

Turkey has full diplomatic relations with Israel after resolving last year a crisis in ties but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remains vehemently critical of the Jewish state’s policy towards the Palestinians.

The meeting brought together foreign ministers and top officials from key Muslim nations, including Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, whose rival nations are locked in a bitter feud. Israel angered the Islamic world by installing metal detectors and security cameras at the Haram al-Sharif holy site in Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, following a July 14 attack in which gunmen killed two policemen.

The move sparked Muslim protests and deadly unrest, and last week the Israeli government removed the detectors and cameras. The site includes the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam.

A joint communique issued after the gathering said the meeting “strongly condemns Israel’s recent provocative actions” at the holy site. It accused the Jewish state of “employing collective punishment measures and the use of lethal and excessive force against peaceful Palestinian worshippers” at the site.

And despite the Israeli climbdown on the metal detectors, the OIC statement accused the government of “persistent public statements... that incite religious sensitivities, feed tension and incite violence”. It urged world powers not to support or encourage Israel’s “illegal colonisation and annexation” of East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967 before later annexing.

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki told the meeting that Israel’s move to remove the detectors was a “small victory in the long battle for freedom”.

But he accused Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu of seeking to change the longstanding agreement whereby only Muslims are allowed to pray inside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, although anyone can visit, including Jews. “Netanyahu will try again to impose his status quo and we should prepare for the next round which could come very soon and be very nasty,” he added.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was time Muslim countries started to help the Palestinians “not just with words but with actions”. “We must act to protect the Al-Aqsa mosque and Palestine,” he said. He reaffirmed a call made by Erdogan on all Muslims to visit Jerusalem.

In its statement, the OIC accused the Israeli government of “neither (being) committed to peace nor interested in the two-state solution”, saying its actions were the “most dangerous threat to the prospects of peace”.

A senior Palestinian official on Tuesday said silence in US President Donald Trump’s administration over settlement growth and its failure to support the two-state solution encouraged “apartheid” Israeli policies.

The criticism by chief negotiator Saeb Erekat came in a statement after the Palestinians had previously been careful not to antagonise the new US leader since his inauguration in January. “The fact the US administration did not declare the final goal of the peace process is to achieve two states on the basis of the 1967 borders, and its silence regarding the intensification of Israeli colonial settlement activities, are interpreted by the Israeli government as an opportunity to destroy the two-state solution and replace it with one state with two systems,” Erekat said.

“That is what the Israeli government is doing on the ground through its policies,” he said, adding that such a system was tantamount to “apartheid”.

Trump’s administration, that includes his son-in-law Jared Kushner, has sought to build trust for a new round of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Erekat, who is also the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said the American administration’s perceived silence was an “obstacle” to talks.

Settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem are among the most controversial issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel occupied the areas in 1967 in a move never recognised by the international community, and more than 600,000 Israelis now live in settlements.

In December, the United Nations Security Council declared all such settlements to be illegal after outgoing president Barack Obama decided not to veto a resolution.

Since Trump came to power, however, Washington has remained largely quiet as Israel has announced thousands of new homes in settlements.

Trump has also moved away from decades of US support for the two-state solution - the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel - saying in February that he was happy with either a one-state or two-state solution if the parties favoured it.

US negotiators have not publicly backed an independent Palestinian state in statements after meetings with the two sides.