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Jordan condemns Israel Minister's storming of Al-Aqsa complex in Jerusalem

January 3, 2023 at 3:08 pm

Israeli police stand guard on 2022 during a visit by a group of Jewish people at the al-Aqsa mosque compound [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]

Jordan has strongly condemned Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’ storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem and described it as a “provocation”, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Early on Tuesday, Ben-Gvir entered the flashpoint site, a day after announcing he had postponed the visit amid warnings of unrest.

“The storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by an Israeli Cabinet member and violating its sanctity is condemned and provocative and amounts to a flagrant violation of international law,” Foreign Ministry spokesman, Sinan Majali, said in a statement.

Majali held Israel “solely accountable for the grave consequences of this escalation,” warning that such a move threatens to undermine “all efforts made to prevent an upsurge in violence that endangers security and peace.”

The Jordanian spokesman called on the international community “to take a swift and decisive action to put an end to such practices.”

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“The holy compound, which covers a total area of 144 dunums, is a solely Muslim place of worship, and that the Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs Department is the body with exclusive jurisdiction to manage all affairs of the compound and organise entry to it.”

Jordan has been the official custodian of Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem since 1924, and was publicly acclaimed as the custodian of Jerusalem’s holy sites.

Jordan has held on to the Ottoman-era status quo agreement, which notably states that, while non-Muslims are allowed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, they cannot worship or pray at the site.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognised by the international community.

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