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Jordan summons Israeli ambassador, demands end to violations in Jerusalem

Kingdom expresses rejection of measures hindering Muslims’ access to Al Aqsa ‘under any pretext’

By JT - Aug 18,2019 - Last updated at Aug 18,2019

Men walk near the Dome of the Rock at Al Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday (AFP photo)

AMMAN — Jordan on Sunday summoned Israeli Ambassador in Amman Amir Weissbrod in protest of recent Israeli violations against Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif in occupied Jerusalem, calling for an immediate halt to Israel’s provocative actions, which constitute a “clear violation” of international law.

Foreign Ministry Secretary General Zaid Lozi delivered a decisive message to the Israeli government through the ambassador, including a demand for an immediate halt to Israeli violations and attempts to alter the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem, a Foreign Ministry statement said.

The ministry informed Weissbrod of its utter condemnation of Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s comments suggesting a shift in Al Aqsa Mosque’s status quo to allow Jews to pray at the Muslim holy site.

Quoted in the statement, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sufian Qudah said that the ministry has also reiterated that the entirety of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, with its total area of 144 dunums, is a place of worship for Muslims only. 

The ministry also expressed its condemnation and rejection of shutting the mosque’s doors, preventing worshippers from entry or imposing any restrictions on Al Aqsa under any pretext or circumstance, emphasising the need for Israel to uphold its obligations as an occupying power, in accordance with international and humanitarian laws.

According to media reports, the Israeli public security minister voiced support last week for altering arrangements at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, of which Jordan is the custodian, to allow Jews to pray at the Muslim site.

The Israeli minister’s remarks followed confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian worshippers two days earlier as the overlapping of Muslim’s Eid Al Adha and a Jewish holiday led to tensions at the holy site, in which dozens of Palestinians were wounded.

Israeli forces fired sound grenades at Palestinians in Al Aqsa Mosque compound on the first day of Eid Al Adha when thousands of Palestinians took to the mosque for eid prayers, with the Red Crescent reporting 61 Palestinians wounded, 15 of whom were taken to hospitals, AFP said.

Meanwhile, President of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (APU) and Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh on Sunday also denounced the illegal measures and practices of Israeli forces in Jerusalem.

Tarawneh, in an APU statement on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the burning of Al Aqsa Mosque in 1969, expressed utter rejection of Israeli practices, including the disrespect of the sanctity of places of worship and banning access of Muslims and Christian worshippers to these places, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The president also condemned all procedures that aim at the Judaisation of the holy city and changing its Arab and Islamic identity and topographic structure. 

He denounced the raids of Israeli extremists in Al Aqasa Mosque and Islamic and Christian places  of worship, warning the occupation authorities against practices that insist on provoking the sentiments of Muslims through the dangerous escalation of their policies.

Tarawneh expressed the APU’s full solidarity and support for the Palestinian people and the resilience of Jerusalemites who defend the identity of the holy city.

Also on Sunday, the Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs called on international organisations, the UN and peace-supporting countries to oblige Israel to maintain the status quo in the holy city to realise peace and security in the region and the entire world. 

The committee criticised the world’s silence, mainly in the US, in light of Israeli procedures of destroying Palestinian homes and neighbourhoods and expelling indigenous residents, as well as violations against Islamic and Christian holy sites, at the top of which is Al Aqsa Mosque, according to Petra. 

The committee also called on Israel to return to the status quo that was applied in 2000, in accordance with the UN resolution that declares the Jordanian Islamic Awqaf Department as the sole entity authorised to supervise the affairs of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif.

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