HomeWorldAfricaJordan's Delegate Was Stopped By Israeli Police From Going Into Al-Aqsa Mosque

Jordan’s Delegate Was Stopped By Israeli Police From Going Into Al-Aqsa Mosque

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Jordan summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest police obstruction of the country’s envoy during his visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Jordanian foreign ministry said the Israeli envoy was handed “a strongly-worded letter of protest to be delivered immediately to his government”.

According to the statement, the letter included a reminder that the Jordan-run Jerusalem Waqf Department is the sole authority supervising holy sites in Jerusalem, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“Israel, as an occupying power, must adhere to its obligations under international law and international humanitarian law towards the occupied city of Jerusalem and its sanctuaries, particularly the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque,” said ministry spokesman Sinan Majali.

He added that Israel must “put a stop to attempts to change the historic status quo” in occupied Jerusalem.

According to witnesses, Israeli police stopped Jordanian Ambassador Ghassan Majali at the Lion’s Gate (Bab al-Asbat), on the northern side of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and prevented him from entering the site due to a lack of coordination.

The site, which sits on a sprawling plateau and also houses the iconic golden Dome of the Rock, is revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary (al-Haram al-Sharif) and by Jews as the Temple Mount.

According to Israeli police, Majali arrived at the holy site “without any prior coordination with police officials,” prompting an officer at the compound entrance who did not recognise the diplomat to notify his commander about the unexpected visit. Officers detained Majali and Azzam al-Khatib, the director of the Jerusalem Waqf, while they awaited instructions. The ambassador refused to wait and decided to leave, according to Israeli police.

“Had the ambassador waited a few more minutes for the officer to be updated, the group would have entered,” the police said, emphasising that “coordination” with Israeli police was routine before such visits.

According to Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, the incident goes to the heart of Jordan and Israel’s relationship when it comes to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

“There is something called the status quo – an agreement that effectively allows the Jordanians to be custodians of that compound,” he explained.

Info source – Al Jazeera

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