Jordan sends the Israeli Foreign Ministry an official protest letter over the many Jewish pilgrims visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the holiest site in Judaism and a main flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Over 1,200 religious Jews have visited the site during Passover, double the number seen two years ago.
Muslims refer to the compound, the third-holiest in Islam, as the Al Aqsa Mosque compound or the Noble Sanctuary. Jordan and the Palestinian Authority deny the Jewish connection to the site. Jewish access is permitted for only a few hours on weekdays, with heavy restrictions that include a ban on prayer and displaying religious or national symbols.
The peace deal with Jordan gives the Hashemite Kingdom a “special role” in Jerusalem’s holy site, and it Islamic Waqf administers all matters of the compound except security.
Jordanian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Daifallah al-Fayez says the ministry has sent a formal letter of protest through official channels demanding that Israel “end its violations and provocations and respect the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem and respect the authority of the Jordanian Waqf.
Fayez says in a statement that the “blessed Al Aqsa Mosque in its entirety is a place of worship solely for Muslims and the administration of the Waqf… is the sole authority in directing all matters in the compound, including who enters it.”