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Jordan FM warns record Jewish visits to Temple Mount could spark further tension

Jordan’s foreign minister is criticizing Israel for the record number of Jews who visited the Temple Mount on today’s fast commemorating the destruction of the Jewish Temples that stood there.

Speaking at an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ayman Safadi says that “the number of extremists who stormed Al-Aqsa today stands at a record number that has not been recorded since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967.”

Despite fasting, over 1,300 people braved the heat and went up to the Mount during the morning visiting hours, while hundreds more waited in line to visit the holy site with some three hours remaining of the commemorative day.

Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of both Temples, as well as several other disasters in Jewish history.

Jews visit the Old City of Jerusalem's Temple Mount compound on the Tisha B'Av fast day commemorating the destruction of the Jewish temples that once stood at the holy site, on August 1, 2017. (screen capture: Facebook)
Jews visit the Old City of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount compound on the Tisha B’Av fast day commemorating the destruction of the Jewish temples that once stood at the holy site, on August 1, 2017. (screen capture: Facebook)

Just days after violent tensions surrounding the site, Safadi warned that the visitors could spark further conflict.

“The crisis is over but further and more dangerous crises will break out as a result of Israel’s continued provocation, if Israel will not uproot the source of the tension, if the occupation will not end and if East Jerusalem will not become the capital of an independent Palestine,” Safadi adds.

Relative calm returned to Jerusalem this week following almost two weeks of Palestinian protests over security measures at the Temple Mount, installed after a July 14 terror attack in which three Israeli Arabs shot dead two Israeli policemen with weapons they had smuggled into the compound.

Muslim worshipers had refused to enter the Temple Mount until the security installations at entrances to the site were removed, while Palestinian protesters staged near-daily protests in and around East Jerusalem and the West Bank, some of which turned violent.

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