Jordanian prime minister slams Israel’s effort to ‘change facts on ground’ regarding Temple Mount

King Abdullah cancels events to mark anniversary of peace treaty.

November 10, 2014 02:55
2 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Jordan's King Abdullah walks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Jordan continued its strong rhetoric and actions against Israel over what it sees as Israel’s aggressive actions in Jerusalem, with its prime minister accusing Israel on Sunday of carrying out a plan “to change the facts on the ground,” but warning that abolishing the peace treaty would have consequences.

“Jordan denounces the latest developments that took place in the holy city. These events are not isolated, but rather an Israel government plan to change the facts on the ground,” Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said while speaking at a press conference in Amman, according to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.

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Regarding calls to abolish the peace treaty with Israel, Ensour said that such a move would have political and security consequences that would first have to be carefully thought out.

Several thousand protesters took to the streets of Jordanian cities on Friday, calling on the government to scrap its peace deal with Israel following escalating violence at the Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem.

“Death to Israel,” crowds chanted in several cities, with activists demanding that Israel’s embassy in Amman be closed.

Jordan recalled its ambassador from Israel on Wednesday – the first time it has taken such action since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1994, denouncing what they called “violations” at al-Aksa.

Tensions over the compound, the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest site in Judaism, have fueled repeated clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians in recent weeks, culminating in a oneday closure of the mosque at the end of last month.

Jordan blames Israel for the crisis, saying the rapid expansion of Jewish settlements coupled with vocal demands by Jewish nationalists for greater access to the Temple Mount have inflamed passions, while Israel has accused the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank of inciting the violence.

The Jordanian prime minister claimed that the tensions are due to “an Israeli electoral game,” implying that the Israeli government is raising tensions in order to gain popularity in the next elections.

Ensour added that Jordan’s ambassador would return to Israel at “the end of the crisis and the return of the situation in the holy sites to normal,” according to Anadolu.

Jordan’s Media Affairs and Communications Minister Muhammad al-Momani claimed on Saturday that no country in the world does as much for Palestinian issues as Jordan does, the Jordanian Petra news agency reported.

He pointed out that Jordan’s media played a role in showing the world Israeli “violations” in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories.

After calling back its ambassador from Tel Aviv, Jordan’s King Abdullah decided to cancel the planned event marking the 20th anniversary of the Israeli- Jordanian peace treaty, which was supposed to take place on Sunday, Channel 10 reported.

The king also canceled a second ceremony, which was to include the Jordanian energy minister and 40 other of the country’s officials, that was to inaugurate labs in the framework of a joint technological project. Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom was to take part on the Israeli side.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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