Jordanian government demands Israel immediately re-open the Al-Aqsa Mosque to worshipers. Israel: Jordan escalating the situation.
By Ben Ariel, Canada – Arutz Sheva
Jordan on Friday condemned the violence in Jerusalem but also demanded that Israel “immediately” reopen the Temple Mount compound for Muslim worshipers. Israel closed down the compound after the terrorist attack in the Old City in which two Israeli police officers were murdered.
Footage from the attack clearly showed that the terrorists took advantage of the sanctity of the Temple Mount and of Israel’s easing of restrictions on worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque to carry out their attack.
Jordan’s Government Spokesman Mohammed Momani said in a statement quoted by the Jordanian news agency Petra that Jordan rejects any violation against the right of Muslims to perform their religious rituals in their holy shrines.
Momani condemned the escalation in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and asked for an immediate investigation.
The government, he added, has made intensive contacts to push for the immediate re-opening of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Israeli officials were angered by Jordan’s statement, saying on Friday evening they rejected it.
“Instead of condemning the attack, Jordan chose to attack Israel, which protects the worshipers and preserves freedom of worship in the area,” the statement said, according to Israeli media outlets.
“Israel will not tolerate any ham to the holy sites and it maintains the status quo in them. It would be appropriate for all the parties involved, including Jordan, to maintain restraint and prevent an escalation,” it added.
Jordan is one of two Arab countries, the other being Egypt, to have signed a peace treaty with Israel.
The country’s parliament, which is made up mostly of Islamists, remains anti-Israel and its members have more than once called to annul the peace treaty.
There have been tensions between the sides over the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Under an agreement reached following the Six Day War, in which Israel liberated Jerusalem, the Jordanian Waqf is in charge of the Temple Mount.