Amman, MINA – Jordan on Friday called on Israel to immediately halt its “violations” at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque, holding Israel responsible for the safety of Palestinian worshipers.
Jordanian government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat issued the appeal in response to reported attacks on worshipers by Israeli security forces inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Anadolu Agency.
Ghneimat went on to condemn “ongoing Israeli provocations at the mosque compound, including the storming of the site on Friday by Israeli police and their assault on Palestinian worshipers and employees of the [Jordan-run] Religious Endowments Authority”.
“Such reprehensible practices violate the sanctity of this holy place, provoke the feelings of Muslims around the world, and violate Israel’s legal obligations as an occupying power in East Jerusalem,” she added.
Ghneimat also described recent events at Al-Aqsa as “a violation of international conventions that stress the need to respect places of worship”.
Dozens of Palestinians were injured on Friday when Israeli forces entered East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque complex and began attacking Muslim worshipers, according to local officials.
For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.
In late 2000, a visit to the Al-Aqsa by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked a years-long popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians lost their lives. (R/R04/RS5)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)