Jordan's Foreign Minister has condemned Jewish extremists' assault on Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. Large numbers of Muslims went to the sacred site following announcements in the Hebrew media by a Jewish group that it would storm the mosque and "build the temple on its ruins". Israeli police detained many Muslims inside the mosque. "The extremists' plans are a provocation towards the feelings of all Muslims and a clear violation of the sanctity of holy places," said Nasser Jawda.
In a statement reported by the official Jordanian news agency on 19 February, Mr. Jawda confirmed that Jordan "disapproves of theses systematic and serious attempts by groups of extremist Israelis, with the participation of political figures including members of the Knesset, who are planning to destroy the mosque." The extremists' claims concerning the history of the site lie contrary to the facts of the Arab and Islamic heritage of Al-Aqsa, he added.
The Foreign Minister stressed that the Israeli government "has the responsibility, as the occupying power under international law, to prevent these groups from carrying out such acts". There should be respect for the sanctity of all holy places, he said, especially the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa.
Dr. Abdul Salam Al-Abbadi, who is Jordan's Minister of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs, condemned the actions of the Jewish extremists and Israeli police officers "who raided Al-Aqsa Mosque without regard for mosque etiquette and chased Muslim worshippers inside the building". Minister Al-Abbadi denounced the "practices of the Israeli occupation authorities which desecrate holy places, and called for the removal of surveillance cameras located inside Al-Aqsa Mosque. These cameras, he asserted, "represent a blatant attack on Jordan's custodian role in Jerusalem's Islamic sites, the mosque and the worshippers, who are intimated by the cameras' presence."