Palestinians said to be incensed over Israeli speakers near Temple Mount

This is reportedly the third time loudspeakers have been installed since 2017.

A view of the Temple Mount from the air (photo credit: GALI TIBBON)
A view of the Temple Mount from the air
(photo credit: GALI TIBBON)
Jordanian and Palestinian officials expressed outrage after Israel reportedly installed loudspeakers next to the Temple Mount last week.
Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned “ongoing Israeli violations against al-Aqsa” in a statement on Monday, according to Jordan’s official Petra News Agency.
“The police actions are irresponsible tampering, unacceptable and constitute a provocation to the feelings of Muslims around the world and a flagrant violation of Israel’s obligations as the occupying power under international law,” said Daifallah Al-Fayez, a spokesperson for the ministry.
The Wakf Islamic religious trust, instituted by Jordan after the War of Independence and an arm of the Jordanian Ministry of Sacred Properties, administers the Temple Mount site.
Fayez warned against the “consequences of the continued breaches” and called on the international community to pressure Israel to “stop the violations,” according to Petra.
The Jordanian ministry also denounced the recent arrests of some Wakf officials in Jerusalem.
The loudspeakers reportedly were placed by Ablution Gate (Bab al-Matharah) along the Western Wall of the Temple Mount plaza, according to Middle East Eye, an independently funded online news organization.
This is the third time loudspeakers have been installed since 2017, according to the reports. The other two sets of loudspeakers are located near Bani Ghanim Gate in the northwestern part of the plaza and Tribes Gate in the northeast.
Israeli security forces entered the complex on Sunday, after the Wakf denied them entry to the Tribes Gate minaret, and used ladders to climb onto the roof and install the loudspeakers, Middle East Eye reported.
The loudspeakers will be used to allow Israeli security forces to broadcast announcements and instructions to visitors at the site, according to Palestinian reports.
The installation of the loudspeakers violates a century-old agreement preventing external intervention in Islam’s holy places, Wasfi Kailani, executive director of the Hashemite Fund for the Restoration of al-Aqsa, told Arab News.
Jordanian Awqaf Minister Mohammad Khalileh condemned the arrests of Wakf officials, calling them “attacks by the Israeli occupation forces on the staff of his ministry.”
Ekrima Sabri, a former grand mufti of al-Aqsa, told Middle East Eye he believes the loudspeakers will be used to tighten Israeli control over the mosque.
The Aqsa Mosque is located at the southern end of the Temple Mount complex, also known as Al Haram Ash Sharif.
“The occupation’s measures against al-Aqsa are invalid and illegal,” Sabri told Middle East Eye. “We do not recognize them. We hold the Israeli government responsible for violating the sanctity of al-Aqsa because it is directly responsible for any aggression, and it is the one that protects the settlers storming the site, encouraging them to increase their numbers.”
The loudspeakers could be used to broadcast Jewish prayers or deliver statements in Hebrew to settlers, Middle East Eye reported.
The Israel Police enforce a strict ban on Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. Jewish visitors to the site had started praying, undisturbed by police forces, The Jerusalem Post reported in December. According to some Jewish visitors to the site, the police began enforcing the ban once again earlier this year.
Visits by religious Jews to the Temple Mount are monitored by Wakf guards and the police, and all Jewish prayer, including silently, is forbidden.
No sacred Jewish objects, including prayer books and tallitot, may be brought onto the Temple Mount, according to the Tourist Israel tourism website.