Jordan Condemns Israeli Violations at Al-Aqsa
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Jordanian government condemned Israel’s violations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, citing recent raids into the site during the final days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Dozens of Palestinian worshippers and workers have been assaulted by Israeli forces with rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters, and beaten with batons.
Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs Muhammad Momani called on Israel to immediately halt the unjustified violations, and to respect the status quo as an occupying power in the Palestinian territory, which includes East al-Quds’s Old City where the mosque stands.
Jordan, which runs the Waqf organization administering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, has custodianship rights over Muslim holy places in Jerusalem under its 1994 peace treaty with Israel.
Momani called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for their actions and to pressure Israel to comply with international conventions as an occupying force responsible for protecting religious sites, Ma'an News Agency reported.
The statement added that Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh had contacted Israeli officials, expressing Jordan’s condemnation and utter rejection of the provocative Israeli practices, demanding that they should be stopped immediately.
Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement that during a “special meeting” Tuesday morning, Israeli police decided to close the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to foreign and non-Muslim worshippers on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, adding that as usual, it would be closed to visitors on Fridays and Saturdays.
Al-Samri later said that 11 Muslim worshippers had been detained on Tuesday morning over suspicions that they threw stones at the Western Wall.
She added that “despite the decision” police had made to close the compound until the end of Ramadan, “masked young Muslim men hurled stones and other objects” at the Moroccan Gate entrance to Al-Aqsa, lightly injuring a woman who was at the neighboring Western Wall.
She added Israeli police officers “suppressed the stone throwers using riot dispersal means.”
The United Nations cultural heritage body UNESCO adopted a resolution regarding Israeli actions in the occupied Palestinian territory earlier this year, condemning Israel -- “the occupying power” -- for restricting access to Al-Aqsa for Muslim worshippers, allowing right-wing Israeli extremists to storm the site under armed guard, and called on Israel to restore the status quo which designates Jordan the exclusive authority on the compound.
The resolution was passed with 26 votes for and six against, with the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany voting against.
The third holiest site in Islam, Al-Aqsa is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place, as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.
While Jewish visitation is permitted to the compound, non-Muslim worship is prohibited according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government after Israel’s illegal occupation of East al-Quds in 1967.
Despite this agreement, the Israeli authorities regularly allow Jewish visitors to enter the site -- often under armed guard. Such visits are typically made by right-wingers attempting to unsettle the status quo at the site, and coincide with restrictions on Palestinian access, including bans on entrance and detentions.