Jordan fumes after ambassador delayed at entrance to Temple Mount

“If he had waited a few more seconds, he would have entered the Temple Mount area,” police said, explaining that there was no prior coordination with Israeli authorities.

By World Israel News Staff

The Jordanian foreign ministry lodged an official protest with Israel Tuesday afternoon, summoning Israel’s ambassador to Amman, Eitan Sorkis, for a dressing down after a Jordanian diplomat was temporarily barred from entering the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Jordan’s ambassador to Israel, Ghassan Majali, was briefly prevented from ascending the Temple Mount Tuesday afternoon, leaving the area in protest of the delay.

Israeli police pushed back on Jordanian media reports claiming Majali was not allowed to enter the holy site, emphasizing that officers on the scene had merely delayed the ambassador’s entry while consulting their superiors.

Police said that Majali had arrived at an entrance to the Temple Mount, accompanied by the Jordanian director of the Waqf – the Islamic trust which administers the site – without prior coordination with Israeli authorities.

“A short time ago, the Jordanian director of the Waqf – together with the Jordanian ambassador to Israel – arrived at the Temple Mount without any prior coordination with the police,” a police spokesperson said.

“A police officer who noticed them and did not recognize the person – or know of the expected visit – informed his commander, waited to receive instructions, and, for this purpose, delayed their entry into the Temple Mount area for a very short time.

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“He was the one who decided at a certain stage to leave the place on his own initiative, in the process of the policeman updating his commander and receiving appropriate instructions. If he had waited a few more seconds, he would have entered the Temple Mount area.”

“We note that a preliminary coordination procedure with the police, as usual, would have prevented any delay in the ambassador’s entry to the Temple Mount, and we are sorry for false publications regarding this case,” police said.