Jordan condemns Jewish ascent to Temple Mount by 'occupying power'

Tisha Be'av in eyes of Jordanian and PA officials and media: "Jews storm Al-Aqsa in 'central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem."

July 22, 2018 20:30
2 minute read.
Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount on July 22, 2018

Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount on July 22, 2018. (photo credit: HAIM KROIZER)


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The visit by more than 1,400 Jews to the Temple Mount on Sunday to mark Tisha Be’av – Judaism’s day of mourning commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples – constitutes a provocation to Muslims the world over, Jordanian and Palestinian spokesmen said on Sunday.

According to Petra, Jordan’s official news service, Jordanian government spokesman Jumana Ghneimat “condemned in the strongest terms the ongoing Israeli violations and provocations against al-Aqsa Mosque/al-Haram al-Sharif compound, especially the provocative incursions of extremists and settlers that took place today into the courtyards of the holy site.”

Ghneimat, Jordan’s minister of state for media affairs, said the visit of the Jews to the site, “conducted under protection of the Israeli police, violates the sanctity of this holy place, provokes sentiments of worshipers and Muslims all over the world, and constitutes a violation of Israel’s obligations as an occupying power under international and international humanitarian laws.”

Ghneimat said the Jordanian Embassy in Ramat Gan wrote a letter to the Israeli Foreign Ministry condemning “those violations,” and calling for an “immediate halt.”

The Foreign Ministry had no comment.

The Jordanians were not the only ones to protest what is believed to be the largest number of Jews to visit the Temple Mount on Tisha Be’av in centuries.

Palestinian Authority spokesman Yousef Mahmoud said in a statement published by the official PA news Agency WAFA that Sunday was “a black day in the history of the city of Jerusalem, and in the history of Palestine and the history of the Arabs and Muslims.”

He said that images of the Jews on the Temple Mount is “a flagrant challenge to the Arab and Islamic nations and a violation of international laws.”

Both the Jordanian and Palestinian media referred to Jews “storming” the site.

“Over a thousand of Israeli settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque compound under armed security by the Israeli police on Sunday morning,” the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.

According to this report, “hundreds of settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque in the form of successive groups” that came from the ramp leading up from the Western Wall plaza.

“Sources added,” the Maan report continued, “that many of the Israeli settlers performed Jewish religious rituals in the compound, while Israeli police removed several extremist Israeli settlers from the premises.”

According to Maan, all this took place in “the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.”

MK Yehudah Glick (Likud), who champions the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, posted a tweet noting the number of Jews who went to the site on Sunday, and observed, “Until a few years ago the Temple Mount was closed on Tisha Be’av for non-Muslims.”

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