View of the Al-Aqsa complex in the Old City of Jerusalem on December 30, 2022. Photo/Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency
AMMAN – Jordan summoned the Israeli Ambassador on Tuesday (17/1/2023) to protest the actions of the Israeli police which prevented the Royal Envoy from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.
Anadolu News Agency reported Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) as saying, “The Israeli envoy has been given a letter of protest with strong words to be sent to his government immediately.”
“The letter includes a reminder that the Jordan-run Jerusalem Waqf Department is the exclusive authority overseeing holy sites in Jerusalem, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the statement said.
“Israel, as an occupying power, must comply with its obligations under international law and international humanitarian law towards the occupied city of Jerusalem and its sanctity, especially the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque,” said Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Sinan Majali.
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“Israel must stop attempts to change the historic status quo in occupied Jerusalem,” he said.
According to eyewitnesses, the Jordanian ambassador was stopped by Israeli police at the Lion’s Gate (Bab Al-Asbat), on the north side of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and prevented from entering the site citing a lack of coordination.
Israeli police, for their part, said the Jordanian diplomat was not denied entry but was briefly delayed entering the site, according to public broadcaster KAN.
Jordan has been the official custodian of Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian holy sites since 1924, and is openly recognized as custodian of Jerusalem’s holy sites.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the third holiest site in the world. Jews, for their part, call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The Zionist regime annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.
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