Jordan pans limited Muslim access to Temple Mount

Amman warns Israel’s restrictive actions at Jerusalem holy site could lead to religious conflict

The Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem's Old City, with Mughrabi Ascent bridge in foreground (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
The Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem's Old City, with Mughrabi Ascent bridge in foreground (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Jordan has once again condemned Israeli actions in the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel Radio reported Wednesday, after police limited Muslim access to the holy site on Tuesday.

Entrance to the Temple Mount was restricted after police received alerts of plans by Palestinians to sow unrest in the compound, according to the radio report.

In response a Jordanian government spokesman said Amman condemned the decision to clear the al-Aqsa Mosque of Muslim worshippers in order to enable what he called Jewish extremists to enter the compound.

He warned that Israel’s actions in the Temple Mount were “a blatant violation of international law” and said Jerusalem’s conduct could drag the region into a dangerous religious conflict.

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the Temple Mount – and subsequent Jordanian condemnations of Israel – have become commonplace in recent months.

In April Jordan’s foreign ministry summoned Israeli ambassador Daniel Nevo to protest Israel’s actions at the compound. Jordanian officials protested what they called a “gross breach of international law and of the peace agreement between the two nations.”

They accused Israel of allowing extremist Israeli Jews to enter the compound and of attacking Muslim worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque.

The Jordanians said they placed full responsibility on Israel for maintaining security and peace in the Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount compound, which holds the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, is considered the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest site to Jews as the site of the two ancient Jewish temples.

The site’s profile as a point of contention between Israelis and Arabs has risen in recent months, as right-wing politicians and activists have been vying in Israel’s Knesset to pass legislation that would allow Jewish prayer at the compound.

Palestinian officials have attacked the bill as an attempt to change the status quo inside the al-Aqsa Mosque and warned of grave repercussions if such a law were to pass.

Elhanan Miller and Spencer Ho contributed to this report.

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