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House angered over Israeli violations in Jerusalem, ‘deal of the century’

MPs call for expulsion of Israeli ambassador, warn against meddling in custodianship

By Raed Omari - Mar 18,2019 - Last updated at Mar 18,2019

Deputies try to rein in MP Mohammad Hudeib and MP Khaled Fanatsah after a brawl broke out between them during a Lower House emergency session on Monday (Photo courtesy of Amir Khalifah)

AMMAN — The Lower House on Monday called on the government to expel the Israeli ambassador to the Kingdom, citing the occupation authorities’ frequent assaults on Jerusalem's holy sites.

During an emergency session on the Israeli assaults on Al Aqsa Mosque, MPs also called on the government to recall the Jordanian ambassador in Tel Aviv and exert legal efforts in international forums to safeguard the status quo in Jerusalem.

The House also urged the government to unveil any details on the so-called "deal of the century" and inform lawmakers about the measures it is taking to protect Jordan's sovereignty.

MPs expressed rejection of all forms of normalisation with Israel, reiterating that Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine and rejecting the relocation of embassies from Tel Aviv to the occupied Holy City. 

House Speaker Atef Tarawneh said that the Legal Committee is now looking into the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty, adding that the Chamber’s Energy Committee will soon examine the gas deal with Israel to take necessary actions. 

MPs also called for resorting to the Arab League and the UN Security Council to halt Israeli violations and protect the Palestinian people, in addition to discussions with Arab and international parliaments to counter Israeli legislation that encroaches on the status quo and hold the occupation accountable to its violations against the Palestinians.

Highlighting the Hashemite Custodianship over Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites, the representatives also commended His Majesty King Abdullah’s efforts in support of the Palestinian cause and in protecting the holy sites.

Attending the session, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said that Jordan is dealing with the Israeli assaults against Al Aqsa Mosque as a “national issue”, pledging relentless efforts to protect the status quo in Jerusalem.

Razazz also reiterated Jordan’s rejection of an Israeli court decision to close the Bab Al Rahmah (Gate of Mercy) at Al Aqsa Mosque. 

For his part, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that protecting Jerusalem’s Arab and Islamic identity is not “merely a reaction” but rather a top Jordanian priority and solid approach that is being followed up by His Majesty.

Safadi reiterated that Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif is part of the Palestinian territories that were occupied in 1967 as stipulated in by international law and international legitimacy resolutions and, therefore, is not under the jurisdiction of Israeli authority.

The minister also said that the steadfastness of the Palestinians and the Hashemite Custodianship have an immense role in protecting the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

An Israeli court on Sunday ordered the temporary closure of the Bab Al Rahmah at the highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site that has been the source of tensions in recent weeks, AFP news agency said.

The Jerusalem magistrates court said the building should be closed while the case continues, according to AFP.

The Awqaf Ministry-affiliated Jerusalem Awqaf Department was given 60 days to respond to the court case involving the building.

Palestinian worshippers have been entering the site despite an Israeli order that it should stay closed.

Israel shut off access to Bab Al Rahmah in 2003 during the second Palestinian Intifada over alleged “militant activity” there.

Palestinian officials argue that the organisation that prompted the ban no longer exists and there is no reason for it to remain closed.

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