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Jordanians protest Israel ‘Jewish state’ law

Demonstrators in Amman, backed my Muslim Brotherhood, deride bill as threat to Islamic custodianship of Temple Mount

A Palestinian woman shouts after being blocked by Israel security forces from entering the Temple Mount, Islam's third most holy site, in Jerusalem on October 13, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
A Palestinian woman shouts after being blocked by Israel security forces from entering the Temple Mount, Islam's third most holy site, in Jerusalem on October 13, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

AMMAN, Jordan — Hundreds of Jordanians joined a rally Friday organized by the Muslim Brotherhood to denounce Israeli plans to enshrine in law the country’s status as the national Jewish homeland.

An estimated 1,500 protesters set off from the Husseini mosque in downtown Amman holding up signs saying “al-Aqsa is in danger”.

“There is a greater danger today, and that is the Jewish state draft law,” Hamzeh Mansur, the former head of the Brotherhood’s Islamic Action Front party, told the protesters.

“Where is Jordan’s custodianship over Jerusalem and where is the promised Palestinian state?” he asked.

Jordan has custodianship over the Temple Mount — which is home to the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest site in Islam, and the holiest in Judaism — and other Muslim holy sites in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.

East Jerusalem has been hit by months of violence, which has spread across the West Bank and to Arab communities inside Israel.

Although non-Muslims are allowed on the compound, it is forbidden for Jewish worshipers to pray at the site.

The Israeli government endorsed Sunday a proposal to enshrine in law the country’s status as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

The Palestinian leadership has said the law “kills” the Middle East peace process

Opponents have also said the move will weaken democracy in Israel, could institutionalize discrimination against Israel’s 1.7 million Arab citizens, and would alienate Israel’s Druze minority.

Justin Jalil contributed to this report.

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