Jordan sent a formal complaint to Israel’s Foreign Ministry over its concern that the status quo on the Temple Mount had been violated by the large number of Jewish visitors to the site over Passover.
Temple Mount Heritage Foundation CEO Tom Nissani said that the 2,641 Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount over Passover set a record.
“It’s not for nothing that the Jordanians sent an official letter of condemnation,” Nissani said.
Jordan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman tweeted Thursday that his country “condemned the continuation of the Israeli violations in the al-Aqsa Mosque/al-Haram al-Sharif.”
He added that most recently “extremists” had been able “to enter the mosque in large numbers under the protection of the Israeli police, in flagrant violation of the legal and historical status quo and international law.”
The Foreign Ministry confirmed that it had received a written complaint from Jordan, which has a special custodial relationship to the Temple Mount, also known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif.
The status quo only allows Muslim worshipers to pray at the site, which is the third holiest site in Islam and Judaism’s most holy site.
Jews and Christians are allowed to visit but cannot pray there. There has been an increase in the number of visitors to the site due to Passover.
The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation is outspoken about its goal of changing the status quo so that Jews can pray at the Temple Mount.
“If the Israeli government does not initiate change, then change will come from the people,” Nissani said. He added that the foundation would continue to fight to liberate the Temple Mount from Jordan.
Tensions have been high between Israel and Jordan over the Temple Mount, whose al-Aqsa Mosque compound is administered by the Wakf Islamic religious trust.
Earlier this month, a small crisis arose between Jordan and Israel, when Hashemite Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah was stopped at the Allenby Crossing on his way to pray at the Temple Mount over a misunderstanding regarding the number of Jordanian security guards that could be authorized to accompany him. The prince returned home without entering Israel.