Jordan confirmed yesterday that its Ministry of Endowments (Awqaf), in coordination with the Endowments Department in Jerusalem, is responsible for appointing the guards of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
This came in a statement by the Jordanian Ministry of Endowments after Tel Aviv approved Amman's request to increase the number of Al-Aqsa Mosque guards.
In March 2013, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed an agreement giving the kingdom the right to "guardianship and defence of Jerusalem and the holy sites" in Palestine. According to a source, "the responsibility and authority to appoint guards and staff belongs to the ministry, in coordination with the Department of Islamic Endowments in Al-Quds Al-Sharif."
He added that this responsibility "is not subject to participation or dictation from any party, including the Israeli occupation government."
"The ministry [Jordanian Endowments] has appointed more than 70 guards since 2016," added the source, "However, the arbitrary measures, the Israeli arrogance, and the restrictions placed by the Israeli police on the ground constitute an obstacle to the guards and employees performing their duties."
The Jordanian statement concluded by confirming that the Ministry of Awqaf, through the Department of Islamic Endowments in Jerusalem, is continuing its efforts and measures despite all obstacles.
The Jerusalem Endowments Department, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Endowments, Sanctuaries and Islamic Affairs in Jordan, is the official supervisor of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Endowments for (East) Jerusalem, according to international law, which considers the kingdom the last authority which supervised those holy sites before their occupation by Israel.
On Monday, official Israeli channel Kan 11 said that Israel had agreed to Jordan's request to increase the number of Islamic endowments guards at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Kan 11 added that, prior to the recent tensions in Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan, Jordan had submitted a request to increase the endowment guards and renewed its demand again last week.
There are currently more than 250 guards.