Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Israel has no sovereignty over the Temple Mount, countering the Israeli PM’s remarks.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi slammed Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s denial that the Hashemite Kingdom holds sway over Temple Mount security and policy.
“Israel has no sovereignty over the holy places in Jerusalem. This is occupied Palestinian land. Israel is an occupying force that is blocking moves taken by the Jordanian Ministry of Endowments in order to maintain security and peace in Al-Aqsa,” Safadi told Jordanian media.
“Our message is one: Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine, a sovereign state that must be established within the 1967 borders,” he said. “This is the only way to achieve lasting peace.”
Safadi’s remarks came after Bennett denied reports that his administration had acquiesced to Jordan’s requests to expand its presence on the Temple Mount.
Jordan reportedly demanded to post an additional 50 guards from the Waqf — Amman’s Islamic custodial organization which has traditionally overseen the Al-Aqsa Mosque — in the face of rising tensions and clashes in the compound.
Although Jordan has had a peace treaty with Israel since 1994, Jordanian officials have recently made vitriolic comments about the State of Israel and its sovereignty over the Temple Mount, seemingly due to increased visitors to the site by Jewish pilgrims.
During a parliamentary speech in mid-April, Jordanian Prime Minister Khasawneh Bisher said that he “saluted” Palestinians and Waqf employees who threw rocks, bottles, and other projectiles at the “Zionist sympathizers defiling the Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the Israeli occupation government.”
In early May, President Joe Biden told Jordanian King Abdullah II during a phone call on Monday that the U.S. wants the current status quo at the Temple Mount to be preserved and for the Hashemite kingdom to continue serving as the holy site’s official custodian.
Notably, the statement used the Islamic name for the Temple Mount, Haram al-Sharif, as opposed to the name used by much of the Western world.
Biden emphasized “the need to preserve the historic status quo” at the site and “recognized the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s role as the custodian of Muslim holy places in Jerusalem.”
The statement’s referral to the Temple Mount as an exclusively Islamic holy site is significant, particularly because there was no mention of the extensive Jewish historical and religious ties to the site nor that the current status quo prohibits Jews from praying there.
Biden is due to meet Friday with King Abdullah at the White House, where the discussion will reportedly include Israeli-Palestinian tensions at the Temple Mount.