Jordan denies reports of deal with Israel over Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli forces at Al-Aqsa mosque complex (Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  May 20, 2020

The Hashemite Kingdom yesterday denied signing any deal with Israel related to the arrangements at Al Aqsa Mosque, Quds Press reported.

In a statement published by the Petra News Agency, spokesman of the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, Deifullah Al-Fayez, said: “The Administration of Jerusalem’s Awqaf and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs was the body which decided the protective measures inside the holy site in relation to coronavirus.”

Al-Fayez stressed that the administration of Jerusalem’s Awqaf and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs “is the legitimate body which has the exclusive right to run Al-Aqsa Mosque and all the Sacred Sanctuary Yards.”

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Jordanian Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, Hussam Al-Hayyari, said: “The Council decided to reduce performing prayers to only inside the Qibli Mosque and to allow only Al-Aqsa Mosque workers to join the prayers.”

The athan – call to prayer – will continue to sound, he added, and Friday prayers will be held with the attendance of those who work at the holy site

Jewish Temple Mount groups had petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court requesting it order the Israeli government to open Al-Aqsa Mosque for the settlers.

They claimed that there was a secret deal reached between Jordan and Israel to prevent Jews from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque, stressing that this deal came in violation of Israeli laws which guarantee free access to Al-Aqsa Mosque for Jews.

At the end March, the Administration of Jerusalem’s Awqaf and Al Aqsa Mosque Affairs decided to suspend entry of Muslims into the Al-Aqsa Compound as part of measures related to fighting the coronavirus.