Jordan warns against status quo change on Temple Mount

Amman summons Israeli ambassador to protest Erdan comments that Jews should have right to pray at site.

August 19, 2019 01:01
1 minute read.
Tourists look at the Dome of the Rock, located in Jerusalem's Old City on the compound known to Musl

Tourists look at the Dome of the Rock, located in Jerusalem's Old City on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)

Jordan's Foreign Ministry summoned Israel’s Ambassador Amir Weissbrod to warn against what it said were Israeli efforts to alter the status quo on the Temple Mount.

The move on Sunday followed the riots on the Temple Mount on August 11, on Tisha Be’av – which coincided with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha – after police lifted an initial ban and allowed Jews to go the site in increased numbers on the day commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second temples.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi tweeted that his ministry “reiterated” to Weissbrod “Jordan’s condemnation of the Israeli violations in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and calls for an immediate cessation of provocative practices in Al-Haram Al-Sharif [Temple Mount] that exacerbate the conflict and constitute a clear violation of international law.”

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed that Weissbrod was summoned to ministry, but would provide no details.

Jews are allowed to visit the site, Judaism’s holiest, but are not allowed to pray there. Last Tuesday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the situation of not allowing Jews to pray there should be changed, something else that angered the Jordanians.

“I think there is in an injustice in the status quo that has existed since ’67,” Erdan said then in a radio interview. “We need to work to change it so in the future, Jews with the help of God can pray at the Temple Mount.”

He added, however, that this change should be brought about via “political agreements, and not by force.”

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry said that it strongly condemned Erdan’s comments, and demanded “an immediate stop to Israel’s violations and all its attempts to change the historic and legal status quo.”

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