Jordan summons Israeli diplomat to protest against Jerusalem violence

Jordan's King Abdullah II (AP)

The National  /  April 18, 2022

Kingdom has been vocal in criticizing Israeli incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Jordan on Monday summoned the senior Israeli diplomat in Amman to protest against Israeli “violations” in Jerusalem, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said.

It was the latest Jordanian diplomatic move in opposition to Israeli incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the three holiest sites in Islam.

Jordan partly administers the site. Scores of Palestinians were wounded there at the weekend by Israeli stun grenades and rubber bullets against a backdrop of bloodshed in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

An official Jordanian statement said authorities summoned the Israeli chargé d’affairs to the Foreign Ministry on Monday.

He was given a letter to give to his superiors concerning “all illegitimate and provocative Israeli violations in the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque”, the statement said.

It said the letter emphasized need for Israel to uphold international obligations as the occupying power in East Jerusalem and allow worshippers “to exercise their religious rights without restrictions”.

The Israeli ambassador in Amman is away, making the chargé d’affairs the most senior Israeli diplomat in Amman, official Jordanian media said.

The violence in Al-Aqsa followed entry of Israeli worshippers into the mosque, a flashpoint where escalating violence contributed an 11-day war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas last year.

During meetings with Israeli officials in Amman last month, Jordan’s King Abdullah II said that unless Israel is restrained, particularly in Jerusalem, another war could start.

Palestinian extremists killed 14 people in Israel over the past few weeks, with retaliatory Israeli raids in the West Bank killing about 20 Palestinians.

There has not been an all-out conflict like that of last year.

On Thursday, Jordan will host a meeting of an Arab League committee tasked with “confronting Israeli illegal measures in occupied Jerusalem”, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said.

Several Arab states are expected to attend.

A large proportion of Jordan’s 10 million population are of Palestinian origin. They are mostly descendants of Palestinians who fled their homes during the 1948 and 1967 wars.