Jordan’s MPs call for action to defend Al-Aqsa

Muslim worshippers attend the weekly Friday prayers at the Aqsa mosque compound near the Dome of the Rock, in the Old City of Jerusalem, on August 16, 2019. (AFP / AHMAD GHARABLI)
Updated 19 August 2019

Jordan’s MPs call for action to defend Al-Aqsa

  • Jordan has stepped up its diplomatic pressure on Israel, demanding that they do not change the status quo at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

AMMAN: Jordan’s parliament wants to scrap the country’s peace treaty with Israel, expel the Israeli ambassador, recall Jordan’s envoy to Tel Aviv and halt all normalization with Israel.

Members held an emergency session on Monday to urge the government to take a tough line with Israel, amid tension over Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

The Jordanian foreign ministry summoned Israeli ambassador Amir Weissbrod on Sunday to voice its “condemnation and rejection of Israeli violations” at Al-Aqsa, where Israeli security forces attacked tens of thousands of Palestinian worshippers last week.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told MPs the Israelis had been given a “stern” warning. The accepted status of Al-Aqsa is that anyone may visit but only Muslims may pray there. However, there are growing demands for change by extreme right-wing Jewish nationalists.

Palestinians in Jerusalem welcomed Jordan’s stance, said Khaleel Assali, a member of the Islamic Waqf Council which administers Al-Aqsa. “They see Jordan as the last line of defense for Al-Aqsa,” he told Arab News.

Wasfi Kailani, executive director of the Hashemite Fund for the restoration of Al-Aqsa, said some Israeli government officials had become the problem. “In the past, we were told that there were only a few radicals pushing for the right to prayer at Al-Aqsa,” he said.

“Now we see 100 rabbis signing a petition calling for that, and senior government officials are insisting on the need to change the status quo.”

 


Chlorine gas leak at plant sickens 70 in southeast Iran

Updated 51 min 31 sec ago

Chlorine gas leak at plant sickens 70 in southeast Iran

  • Most of the workers at the Karun petrochemical center in the city of Mahshahr in southeast Khuzestan province were released after undergoing medical treatment
  • Meanwhile, in the city of Ahvaz, also in Khuzestan, a fire at the Zergan power plant was ignited when a transformer exploded

TEHRAN, Iran: A chlorine gas leak at a petrochemical center in southeast Iran sickened 70 workers, state-run IRNA news agency reported Saturday.
Most of the workers at the Karun petrochemical center in the city of Mahshahr in southeast Khuzestan province were released after undergoing medical treatment.
Meanwhile, in the city of Ahvaz, also in Khuzestan, a fire at the Zergan power plant was ignited when a transformer exploded, IRNA reported Saturday.
The blaze was contained by firefighters after two hours of battling the blaze.
Mohammad Hafezi, the power plant’s health and safety manager, told IRNA the cause of the fire was under investigation.
The two incidents in Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan come after a fire and explosion at a centrifuge production plant above Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility early Thursday.
Officials said the cause of the fire at Natanz is known to officials, but won’t be immediately released for “security reasons.”
On Tuesday, an explosion from a gas leak in a medical clinic in northern Tehran killed 19 people.