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Jordan recalls envoy to protest Israeli violations in Jerusalem

By Raed Omari - Nov 05,2014 - Last updated at Nov 05,2014

AMMAN — The government on Wednesday recalled Jordanian Ambassador in Tel Aviv Walid Obeidat for consultations following Wednesday’s Israeli raid on Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

According to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, the measure came in protest over the unprecedented Israeli escalation and violations of the sanctity of Al Haram Al Sharif compound in the holy city.

The decision was taken at the instructions of Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour to Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Petra said.

The news agency said that Ensour had also instructed Judeh to lodge a formal complaint with the UN Security Council over Israeli practices in Al Haram Al Sharif. 

Jordan's delegation to the UN immediately started diplomatic measures to lodge the complaint, according to the agency. 

Earlier Wednesday, far-right Jewish groups attempted to storm Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine to Muslims all over the world, prompting clashes between Palestinians defending the mosque and Israeli occupation forces.

The compound has been the scene of frequent confrontations in recent months, largely triggered by Israel’s policy to allow Jewish extremists at the site.

Jordan’s status as custodian of the holy sites in the city is enshrined in its 1994 peace treaty with Israel and in an agreement with the Palestinian leadership.

King Abdullah vowed on Sunday to oppose any Israeli attempt to change the status of Muslim or Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Mohammad Momani on Wednesday asserted that Jordan, in pursuance of its custodianship of the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, keeps legal and diplomatic channels open to respond to the Israeli violations against Al Aqsa Mosque.   

Quoted by Petra, Momani, who is also the government spokesperson, said Jordan has put down an integral plan to confront the Israeli violations vis-à-vis the holy sites in Jerusalem. 


Lawmakers hail move


MPs on Wednesday commended the government’s decision to recall Amman’s ambassador to Israel, calling for more pressure to oblige Israel to halt its assaults on Al Aqsa Mosque and abide by provisions of the Jordanian-Israeli peace deal.

Interviewed by The Jordan Times on Wednesday, veteran MPs called for more pressure on Israeli to “immediately” stop its violations in Al Aqsa Mosque through the Security Council, the Arab League and the use of the Wadi Araba Peace Treaty, alluding to the option that Amman cancels or freezes the 1994 deal.

Newly re-elected Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh said that the Israelis are intentionally attacking Al Haram Al Sharif “in full disrespect and disregard of the religious value of the mosque to all Arabs and Muslims”. 

“Recalling our ambassador in Tel Aviv is just one of the options Jordan has. The Jordanian escalatory measures could touch on the peace treaty with Israel should Israel continue with its provocations in Jerusalem,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone.

Tarawneh labelled Israeli assaults in Jerusalem as “state terrorism”, saying: “There is no difference between the Israeli actions in Jerusalem and Gaza and those of the IS in Iraq and Syria. From both sides, it is terrorism.”

Asked whether deputies would meet in an emergency session to discuss the Israeli escalations, Tarawneh said: “Definitely, there will be a meeting. Now we are busy forming the committee to draft a reply to the King’s Speech from the Throne.”

MP Mahmoud Kharabsheh said that for over 20 years, Israel has been showing “disrespect” for the peace deal it signed with Jordan, violating its terms regarding the custodianship provisions.

Kharabsheh, a legal expert and an established lawyer, also explained that Jordan’s custodianship over Jerusalem’s holy sites has been re-emphasised in the agreement the King signed with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in March last year.

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