Arab lawmakers meet with Jordan’s Abdullah amid concerns of Ramadan tensions at Temple Mount

File: Tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound atop the Temple Mount during the holy month of Ramadan, Jerusalem's Old City, April 17, 2023. (Jamal Awad/Flash90/File)
File: Tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound atop the Temple Mount during the holy month of Ramadan, Jerusalem's Old City, April 17, 2023. (Jamal Awad/Flash90/File)

Two Arab lawmakers meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah amid concerns that the Muslim holy month Ramadan could amplify tensions stemming from the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip

MK Ayman Odeh, the head of the predominantly Arab Hadash-Ta’al alliance and party chairman Ahmad Tibi traveled to Amman and asked the Jordanian monarch to enable freedom of worship at the Temple Mount during Ramadan, Channel 12 reports.

Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has sought to impose sweeping restrictions to prevent West Bank Palestinians from praying at the Temple Mount during Ramadan, and is reportedly pushing for banning Arab Israeli citizens below the age of 70 from visiting the site amid the month of fasting, citing the security situation.

Other defense and political officials have warned such restrictions could serve to greatly inflame tensions.

The flashpoint Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City is the holiest site in Judaism, revered as the location of two ancient temples destroyed in antiquity. Known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif or the Noble Sanctuary, the hilltop compound is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam.

Israel captured the Temple Mount and Jerusalem’s Old City from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War. However, it allowed the Jordanian Waqf to continue to maintain religious authority atop the Mount. Under their 1994 peace treaty, Israel recognized Amman’s “special role… in Muslim holy shrines in Jerusalem.”

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