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Israel stops Jordanian ambassador from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque

January 18, 2023 at 11:48 am

Jordanian ambassador to Israel Mr Ghassan Abdel Rahim Odeh Majali (R) presents copies of credentials to Meron Reuben, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (L) [Twitter]

Jordanian Ambassador Ghassan Majali was stopped by Israeli police at the Lion’s Gate entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound yesterday. The Israelis claimed that he was stopped because of a lack of coordination with the occupation authorities.

According to Israeli public broadcaster KAN, the police pointed out that the Jordanian diplomat was not denied entry, but just delayed briefly.

In response, the foreign ministry in Amman summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest against the envoy being stopped by police. Ministry Spokesperson Sinan Majali said that a “strongly-worded letter of protest” was handed to the Israeli ambassador “to be delivered immediately to his government.”

The spokesperson added that the letter made it clear that, “The Kingdom condemns all measures aimed at unacceptable interference in the affairs of Al-Aqsa Mosque. It reminds Israel that the Jordan-run Jerusalem Awqaf and Al-Aqsa Affairs Department has the exclusive authority to administer the holy site’s affairs and manage entries to the site.”

READ: Al-Aqsa Mosque director detained and searched when entering sanctuary

Majali also said that the letter stressed how important it is that, “Israel, as an occupying power, must adhere to its commitments under international law… regarding Jerusalem and its holy sites and Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular.”

Jordan has been the official and internationally-recognised custodian of Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem since 1924.