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Jordan calls on Israel to stop attacks on holy places

February 14, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Jordan’s ambassador in Tel Aviv has told the Israeli government to stop the “systematic attacks” on the holy places in Jerusalem, saying that they “undermine” efforts to achieve peace, an official source said on Wednesday.

According to the official news agency, Petra, Ambassador Walid Obeidat held intensive meetings at the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr Obeidat stressed “the need for an immediate cessation of Jewish extremists’ entry” into the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“The government of Israel, as the occupying power in Jerusalem, is fully responsible for preventing such systematic attacks on the holy places,” he insisted. “Incursions are a violation of international resolutions and relevant conventions, and are aimed at undermining the efforts to achieve peace by inflaming the feelings of Muslims worldwide.”

A number of Jewish extremists and illegal settlers have entered Al-Aqsa almost daily under cover of “tourist” visits. Once there, they perform religious rituals and are pushing for official acknowledgement of their “right” to do this by dividing the mosque – the third holiest site in Islam – into separate areas for Muslims and Jews.

The Jordanian House of Representatives demanded unanimously that Israel’s ambassador in Amman, Daniel Nevo, should leave the Kingdom because of the “violations” in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994, recognises that the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem remain under the supervision of the Kingdom. In March last year, King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed a convention stipulating that the Jordanian monarch is “the owner of guardianship and the custodian of the holy places in Jerusalem”.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was under Jordanian control from 1948 to 1967. Al-Aqsa Mosque is located in the Old City in the occupied eastern part of Jerusalem. Israel’s “Judaisation” programme is intended to change the Islamic character of the city by colonisation and the ethnic cleansing of its Palestinian inhabitants.