The head of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood called Friday on the government to scrap its peace treaty with Israel after clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque.
At a rally in Amman attended by hundreds of supporters, Hammam Saeed said the government’s decision to recall its ambassador in protest at ongoing altercations around the mosque did not go far enough.
“Recalling the ambassador is a futile measure. It does not change anything. We demand on behalf of the people the scrapping of the shameful treaty,” Saeed told the crowd.
“Our fight is over Al-Aqsa, it is not in Iraq or in Syria,” he said, referring to Jordan’s participation in a US-led coalition conducting air strikes against jihadists in those countries.
Jordan recalled its envoy to Israel on Wednesday and moved to file a UN complaint after police clashed with stone-throwing Palestinian protesters inside the Temple Mount.
The site, which is holy to both Jews and Muslims, is one of the most sensitive spots in the Middle East.
It has been the scene of frequent confrontations in recent months, largely triggered by Palestinian fears that Israel was poised to allow Jewish prayer at the site.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to allay such fears Thursday, pledging in a phone call to Jordan’s King Abdullah II that Israel “is committed to preserving the status quo” at Al-Aqsa by not allowing Jews to pray at the site they call Temple Mount.
Jordan’s status as custodian of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and other Muslim holy sites in East Jerusalem is enshrined in the 1994 peace treaty between the two countries.
Hammam told supporters that Netanyahu was “a criminal” who “needs to understand that we are all ready to die for Al-Aqsa”.
The crowd echoed him, chanting back: “We are coming to Jerusalem, martyrs by the millions” and “Israel must be wiped out”.
Banners were held up calling for “the liberation of Al-Aqsa”. Other placards said the flashpoint shrine was “a red line”.
The Muslim Brotherhood was formed in Egypt in 1928, and branches of the group appeared across the region in the following years. The Jordanian movement is tolerated by the authorities and has wide grassroots support.