Jordan has insisted that the government in Amman will not allow the Israeli occupation authorities to interfere in Al-Aqsa Mosque. Minister of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs Hayel Abdulhafez Dawud said that, as a matter of principle, the Jordanians reject any discussion about sovereignty over Al-Aqsa. If a ruling is issued by the Israeli government in this regard, then Jordan will interfere.
Jordan has had responsibility for the Islamic religious sites in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank since the start of Israel’s occupation. Dawud pointed out that the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa is such a site and the Israelis have no right to interfere in its affairs in any way.
Israel, he added, is an occupier and international law does not prohibit the people from carrying out their religious rituals under occupation. Such laws, however, do ban the occupier from interfering in religious institutions. Any and all Israeli violations in Al-Aqsa thus violate international laws, agreements and conventions.
The minister made his comments after the Israeli occupation authorities banned the Murabitun group from entering Al-Aqsa. According to Shaikh Azzam Al-Khatib, the Director-General of Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, the decision by Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon to outlaw the Murabitun is totally unacceptable.
“The occupation regime has no right to intervene in Al-Aqsa’s matters,” said Shaikh Al-Khatib. “Any Muslim who enters Al-Aqsa Mosque and prays is a protector of the mosque. Nobody has a right to prevent a Muslim from entering the holy site and praying.”
He pointed out that there are no legal grounds for any party, regardless of who they are, to prevent Muslims from entering, praying and worshipping in the mosque. Ya’alon’s banning order is, he concluded, a “hindrance” to Muslims’ right to freedom of worship.