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

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’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.”