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King discusses Jerusalem in phone call with Israeli prime minister

Jordanians react with anger to closure of Al Aqsa

By JT - Jul 16,2017 - Last updated at Jul 16,2017

Citizens take to the streets to protest Israel’s closure of Al Haram Al Sharif in Jerusalem, in Amman on Saturday (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah, in a phone call on Saturday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stressed the need for de-escalation at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, reiterating his condemnation of the attack in Jerusalem on Friday and the rejection of violence in all its forms, especially in holy sites and places of worship.

King Abdullah urged the Israeli prime minister to reopen Al Haram Al Sharif to worshippers, stressing Jordan’s absolute rejection of the continued closure, a Royal Court statement said. 

The King underlined the need to prevent any party from disrupting security and stability, which could lead to further violence and extremism.

Meanwhile, Jordanians at the official, civil society and grassroot levels reacted with anger to Israel’s decision to close Al Aqsa Masque.

Awqaf Minister Wael Arabiyat on Saturday warned against unprecedented violation of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif in occupied Jerusalem by Israeli forces following a shootout Friday that left three Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers dead, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

The Jordanian public expressed their anger at the Israeli closure of the Muslim holy shrine, for the first time in 49 years (See story on page 3). 

Israel shut down the compound, banning Arabs and Muslims from entering the worship place and performing prayers.

Three Palestinians from the Arab town of Umm Al Fahm, located within the 1948 Palestine, carried out a shooting at the compound, which houses Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. 

The occupation forces bear the responsibility for any provocative acts against Al Aqsa Mosque, Arabiyat said in a statement from the ministry, stressing that the ministry followed up on the situation in the compound, which is run by awqaf officials as part of the Hashemite Custodianship of holy places in Old Jerusalem.

On Friday, Jordan urged Israel to “immediately” reopen Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, Petra reported.

The Kingdom also demanded Israel not to take any measures that would change the status quo of the holy shrine and Jerusalem.

Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani said that the government rejects any violations against Muslims’ right in practising their religious rituals at their holy places.

Momani, who is also the government spokesperson, condemned the escalation at Al Aqsa Mosque/ Al Haram Al Sharif, calling for immediate investigations into the incident.

He noted that Jordan had conducted intensified communications to reopen the mosque.

The spokesperson stressed that the Kingdom would deploy its diplomatic, legal and political tools to face any attempts to change the legal and historical status quo in the holy city.

The three men engaged with Israeli forces at the mosque’s Asbat Gate, injuring three soldiers, of which two were announced dead later.

The soldiers followed the gunmen into the mosque and killed the three of them after a heavy shootout, preventing ambulances from entering the mosque, it was reported Friday.



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