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Jordan MPs criticise government ‘weak’ response to Israel expulsion of ambassador from Al-Aqsa Mosque  

January 19, 2023 at 4:21 pm

A view of the Al-Aqsa compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on December 30, 2022 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Jordan lawmakers have criticised their government’s “weak” response to the Israeli authorities’ expulsion of Ambassador Ghassan Majali from Al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Tuesday, Majali was stopped by Israeli police at the Lion’s Gate entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound under the pretext of a lack of coordination with the Israeli 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 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”.

However, a number of Jordanian lawmakers have criticised their government’s response to the incident, saying it was “insufficient” and does not rise to the “insult” directed at Majali.

MP Yanal Freihat said the Jordanian government’s “weak response” encourages Israel to further escalate its aggression against Al-Aqsa Mosque, and will undermine Jordan’s Guardianship over Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem.

Freihat stressed that the strength of Jordan’s response will prompt Israel to review its policies, warning that the Israeli police behaviour proves that they do not recognise the Jordanian guardianship, and is a continuation of the Judaisation of Jerusalem.

READ: Egypt, Jordan, PA call on Israel to stop its ‘illegal and unilateral’ measures

He considered the expulsion of the Jordanian ambassador an attempt by the Israeli Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, to impose new facts, without regard for Jordan’s guardianship.

Freihat called to expel the Israeli ambassador and recall the Jordanian ambassador.

For his part, Jordanian MP, Musa Abu Tanish, said the Israeli authorities’ behaviour was intentional and a “direct blow” to Jordan.

He called on the government to withdraw the Jordanian ambassador from Tel Aviv and held Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, directly responsible for this measure.

MP Saeed Diab, head of the Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party, described the Occupation authorities’ expulsion of his country’s ambassador as “an insult to the Hashemite Guardianship, and evidence that the Occupation does not care about what Jordan calls red lines”.

For her part, said Dr. Abla Abu Abla, head of the Jordanian Democratic People’s Party, said denying Al-Majali from visiting Al-Aqsa, is “a violent terrorist political message that carries with it great dangers to Al-Aqsa”, which requires a greater response from the Jordanian government.

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