Monday, August 19, 2019

JORDAN PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR EXPELLING ISRAELI ENVOY


In yet another sign of mounting tensions, Jordanian members of parliament and blocs renewed their recommendation on Monday that the kingdom expel the Israeli ambassador in Amman to protest Israeli “violations” against the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

The recommendation was made by the Palestine Committee of Jordan’s House of Representatives and other parliamentary blocs during an emergency session attended by Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.
The members called for closing the Israeli Embassy in Amman, cancelling the Israel-Jordan peace treaty and summoning the US ambassador to Jordan to protest US support for Israel. In addition, they called for recalling the Jordanian ambassador to Israel.

The parliament endorsed the recommendations and said it rejects any attempt to divide the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in time and space between Muslim and Jewish worshipers. The parliament also stressed the importance of maintaining Jordan’s historical custodianship over Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, and urged the government to recall the Jordanian ambassador to Israel and halt “all forms of normalization” with Israel.

Safadi told parliament that Jordan’s “unwavering position” remains that “Jerusalem is a redline.” He said that the “protection of Islamic and Christian holy sites in occupied Jerusalem is a responsibility” of Jordan in its capacity as custodian of holy sites in the city.

Jordan, he said, “will do its utmost to protect the holy sites and face the futile Israeli actions targeting them. We condemn the Israeli occupation authorities’ provocative practices and ongoing violation of international law, as well as their attempts change the historical and legal situation in occupied Jerusalem and its holy sites.”

Safadi warned that Israel’s actions will “aggravate the conflict, increase tensions and lead to an explosion, thus threatening international peace and security.” He also pointed out that on Sunday, Jordan summoned the Israeli ambassador in Amman and asked him to convey a message to the Israeli government demanding an immediate cessation of Israeli “violations” and “attempts to change the historical and legal situation” at the holy site in Jerusalem.

Atef Tarawneh, speaker of Jordan’s House of Representatives, called on the government to relay a message to Israel that “peace is threatened in light of its continued aggression against Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque.”

On Sunday, Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Israeli Ambassador in Amman and asked him to convey a message to the Israeli government that it “must immediately cease all violations and attempts aimed at changing the historical and legal situation in the holy compound,” the Jordanian news agency Petra said.

“Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zaid Lozi told the Israeli ambassador that the recent remarks by Israeli Public Security Minister [Gilad Erdan] over changing the status quo in the al-Aqsa Mosque are condemned and rejected. Lozi made it clear that the 144-dunam al-Aqsa Mosque/al-Haram al-Sharif is a place of worship and prayer for Muslims only,” it said.

Last week, Erdan said that he believes the status quo at the Temple Mount should be changed to allow Jewish worshippers to pray at the site. “I think there is an injustice in the status quo there that has been in place since 1967, and we need to act to change it so that Jews in the future can pray on the Temple Mount,” he said in a radio interview.

In response, Mahmoud Habbash – Mahmoud Abbas’s religious affairs adviser – expressed outrage over Erdan’s “racist and disgusting” remarks. Habbash warned that the Palestinians “will never allow the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque to be harmed” and will resist any attempt to change the status quo at the holy site.

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