Jordan tells Israel to stop breaches at Al-Aqsa Mosque

The National  /  October 5, 2023

Amman protests against incursions by Jewish militants, settlers and politicians.

Jordan has protested directly to Israel over a recent increase in Jewish worshippers entering Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said late on Wednesday.

The kingdom has custodianship over the site, one of the holiest places in Islam. It is a major flashpoint in the conflict between Palestine and Israel, which has also marred Israel’s ties with Jordan.

Hundreds of Israelis entered the site this week, at the start of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the Palestinian religious endowments department said.

Sufian Qudah, a Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the ministry sent an official memorandum to the Israeli embassy in Amman protesting against “incursions by the militants and the settlers and Israeli Knesset members into the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque”.

Qudah said “Israeli police protection” provided them with cover.

Qudah said Israel, as the occupying power in Jerusalem, is obliged to refrain from measures that affect the sanctity of the mosque.

He said the compound is “a place of worship exclusively for Muslims”. The site is also sacred for Jews.

It fell under Jordanian authority after Israel was created in 1948. Israel captured the site in East Jerusalem in the 1967 war but allowed it to remain under Jordanian administration.

A large proportion of Jordan’s 10 million population are descendants of Palestinians who fled to the kingdom during the 1948 Middle East war.


Jordan sends ‘memo of protest’ to Israel over Al-Aqsa settler incursions

Middle East Monitor  /  October 4, 2023

Jordan sent a memo of protest to Israel, on Wednesday, over illegal Jewish settlers’ incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Occupied East Jerusalem, Anadolu Agency reports.

More than 1,000 illegal Israeli settlers forced their way into the flashpoint site on Wednesday on the 5th day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which will end on 6 October.

In a statement, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said the memo of protest was sent to the Israeli Embassy in Amman against “incursions by hardliners, settlers and Knesset members into the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque under police protection”.

The memo also protests “the restriction of access for worshipers to the Mosque, the desecration of Islamic graves and the increasing attacks on Christians in Occupied Jerusalem.”

“Israel, as the occupying power, must adhere to its obligations under international law concerning the city of Jerusalem and its religious sites, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque,” ​​Ministry spokesman, Sufian Qudah, said.

The spokesman called on Israel to halt any actions that might undermine the sanctity of these holy places and to cease any attempts to change the historical and legal status of Jerusalem.

“The memo reiterates that Al-Aqsa Mosque, with its entire area of ​​144 dunums, is solely a place of worship for Muslims,” Qudah stressed. 

“The Jordanian-run Waqf and Al-Aqsa Affairs Administration in Jerusalem have exclusive authority over all matters related to the holy site and its access.” 

Jordan has been the official custodian of Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem since 1924 and was publicly acclaimed as the custodian of Jerusalem’s holy sites.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, claiming 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. It annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognized by the international community.