Jordan condemns Israeli Temple Mount visits

The ministry called for the end of the visits and respect of the status quo and stressed that the Temple Mount is a place of worship for Muslims only.

MK Yehuda Glick on the Temple Mount, December 23, 2018 (photo credit: YEHUDA GLICK)
MK Yehuda Glick on the Temple Mount, December 23, 2018
(photo credit: YEHUDA GLICK)
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry condemned Israeli visits to the Temple Mount on Wednesday, referring to them as "ongoing Israeli violations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque", according to Jordan's official news agency.
Dhaif Allah Al Fayez, the ministry spokesman, called the visits a provocation to Muslims around the world and a violation of Israel's obligations as the ruler of responsible for overseeing the holy site. The Jordanian news agency mentioned a recent visit by an unnamed Israeli member of Knesset to the Temple Mount. Likud MK Sharren Haskel visited the Temple Mount recently, according to her spokesperson.
According to Temple Mount News, former MK Moshe Feiglin visited the Temple Mount with his son last week.
Al Fayez called for an end to the visits and for Israel to respect the status quo, stressing that the Temple Mount was a place of worship for Muslims only.
Director of the al-Aqsa Mosque Omar Kiswani said that Israel is trying to take advantage of the Jewish holidays to increase the frequency of Jewish visits to the Temple Mount, according to the Paletinian WAFA news.
Kiswani called on Arab and Muslim countries to defend the mosque and stand with the Waqf to protect the mosque.
The Jerusalem Post recently revealed that Jewish visitors to the site have started praying undisturbed by police forces. As of the end of December, police officers continued to allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, according to Jewish visitors to the site.
Over the Sukkot holiday and intermediate days, over 1,657 Jewish Israelis visited the Temple Mount, according to former MK Yehuda Glick.
Jews are prohibited from praying or bringing religious items onto the Temple Mount – and are removed and sometimes detained if caught doing so.
The Waqf, an arm of the Jordanian Ministry of Sacred Properties, administers the Temple Mount site. Visits by religious Jews to the site are monitored by Waqf guards and Israeli police – and all Jewish prayer, including silent prayer, is forbidden, according to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. No sacred Jewish objects, such as prayer books or prayer shawls, may be brought onto the mount, according to the tourism website Tourist Israel.
The Temple Mount is open to Jewish entry Sunday to Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. (10:30 a.m. in the winter) and again from 1:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.
In October, the Palestinian Safa news agency reported that there has been a "marked escalation" in the frequency of visits by Israeli Jews and "extremist calls to storm [Al-Aqsa] during the Jewish holidays amid tight restrictions imposed by the occupation authorities on the Palestinians."
Tensions have been high between Israel and Jordan in recent months, especially surrounding issues such as the Temple Mount, Jordanian citizens arrested in Israel, the arrest of an Israeli citizen in Jordan, and the return of agricultural land to Jordan in Naharayim and Tzofar.
In October, Jordanian House of Representatives member and president of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union Atef Tarawneh warned that the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan is "under threat, in light of the blatant violation of its terms, especially with the issue of Jerusalem," according to Jordan's government news agency.
Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.