We have been informed that
Jordan''s King Abdullah II and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas signed on Sunday an agreement confirming their "common goal to defending" Jerusalem and its sacred sites against attempts to Judaise the Holy City. A statement by the palace said the deal confirms Jordan''s historic role as custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, particularly the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, and outlines coordination between the two sides."In this historic agreement, Abbas reiterated that the king is the custodian of holy sites in Jerusalem and that he has the right to exert all legal efforts to preserve them, especially Al-Aqsa mosque," the statement said."It is also emphasising the historical principles agreed by Jordan and Palestine to exert joint efforts to protect the city and holy sites from Israeli judaisation attempts.""It also reaffirms the historic principles upon which Jordan and Palestine are in agreement as regards Jerusalem and their common goal of defending Jerusalem together, especially at such critical time, when the city is facing dramatic challenges and daily illegal changes to its authenticity and original identity."
What about Jewish sites?
Will they be protected?
Nope. Seemingly not.
Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs Mahmoud Habbash, who also attended the signing of the agreement, told WAFA that this agreement is for the coordination and corporation in the protection and care of al-Aqsa mosque and all the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. He said that this agreement stresses the historical Jordanian role in protecting the holy sites in Jerusalem as well as stresses the Palestinian sovereignty of the Palestinian Territory, including east Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Palestine.
Jews in Jerusalem appears to be "judaisation", a horrible term that denies any Jewish historic role in the city.
Not only is all this a bogus concoction, since Al-Aqsa and all other religious shrines in Jerusalem remain open and under full Israeli protection, but conspicuously missing from all these supposedly threatened targets were Jewish holy sites in Israel''s capital, where Temple Mount and the Western Wall are Judaism''s most sacred places.Somehow it escaped the attention of Abbas and King Abdullah that, if they really were sincere about protecting all sacred sites in Jerusalem, the only actually vulnerable shrines in Jerusalem and adjoining West Bank are Jewish ones.
Incidentally, this may be a violation of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty which relates to this issue:
ARTICLE 9PLACES OF HISTORICAL AND RELIGIOUSSIGNIFICANCE1. Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.2. In this regard, in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.3. The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.
Do Jews have free access to the Temple Mount?
Have permanent status negotiations begun?
Does ''high priority'' mean absolute priority?
Interfaith relations are to be accomplished "together". And that includes "freedom of religious worship".
A further clarification is now being reported:
President Mahmoud Abbas signed a deal confirming Jordan''s role as custodian of Jerusalem holy sites in response to leaked reports that Israel planned to end Amman''s responsibility for the Al-Aqsa mosque [????], a Palestinian official said Monday."In this historic agreement, Abbas reiterated that the king is the custodian of holy sites in Jerusalem and that he has the right to exert all legal efforts to preserve them, especially Al-Aqsa mosque," the palace said in a statement.Former minister of Jerusalem affairs, Hatim Abdul-Qadir, said...The deal gives King Abdullah enough space both politically and legally to prevent any Israeli attempt to divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque...although the deal reiterated the status-quo in place since 1924, it was signed Sunday amid concerns that Israel would use Palestine''s acceptance as a non-member state of the UN to end Jordan''s custodianship of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.The agreement does not contradict the Palestinian Authority’s political custodianship of Jerusalem...The Al-Aqsa compound, known to Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, is Islam''s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, and it houses the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques. But it is also Judaism''s most sacred place of worship, venerated by Jews as Temple Mount.
Let me point out, again, that the Peace Treaty reads in the relevant section:
Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines. - Article 9
The year "1924" quoted above was before there was a "Jordan" and the Article speaks of the "present special role".
Is there a treaty violation?
Will the Israel government respond?