Jordan warns Israel on Temple Mount, peace ‘in danger,’ may expel Israeli ambassador

Jordan’s speaker of parliament says Israel must be warned that “Peace between the countries is in danger.”

By World Israel News Staff

Jordan’s parliament recommended expelling Israel’s ambassador, and its speaker, Atef Tarawneh, urged his government to stop talking and start acting on the issue of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site and the third holiest in Islam.

Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reported on Monday that Tarawneh said it’s time to convey a message to Israel that “Peace between the countries is in danger, if Israel continues its attacks in Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The Jordanian parliament recommended that the government expel the Israeli ambassador, recall the Jordanian ambassador from Israel and reconsider its peace agreement with the Jewish State, Britain’s Sky News in Arabic reported on Monday.

Israel’s Ambassador to Jordan Amir Weissbrod was summoned by the country’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday, The Jerusalem Post reports.

Weissbrod was warned against any efforts by Israel to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi also tweeted on Sunday, “Met #EU ambassadors to stress urgency of effective Int’l steps against Israel’s violations of Holy Sites in occupied #Jerusalem. These violations & others seeking to change status quo in Holy Sites violate Int’l law, deepen tensions…”

On August 11, a day that saw clashes on the Temple Mount as Muslim rioted, the Foreign Minister tweeted, “We condemn Israel’s violations of [the] sanctity of Al Aqsa, especially on this holy day. Its attempts to change the status quo in occupied Jerusalem and its holy sites will only lead to more violence, threatening [the] security of all. [The] international community cannot remain silent on these violations.”

Following the riots, after which the Temple Mount was cleared and Jews were allowed to ascend, (after previously being denied entry), Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan said in an August 13 interview with Israel’s Radio 90, “I think there is in an injustice in the status quo that has existed since ’67.”

“We need to work to change it so in the future Jews, with the help of God, can pray at the Temple Mount,” he said.

Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Sufyan Al-Qudah “expressed the Kingdom’s absolute rejection of such statements, warning of the consequences of any attempt to prejudice the historical and legal status quo and the serious consequences thereof.”

Jordan holds a special status as custodian of the Waqf, or Islamic religious trust, that administers the Muslim places at the site. As a result, the Jordanians hold a majority on the Waqf council. Israel, however, maintains security control over the site. Part of the status quo allows Jews to visit the site, but they are forbidden to pray.

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Jordan’s special status over the Temple Mount is critical to its survival, observers say. Without it, the Hashemite rulers would lose their religious legitimacy.

However, Jordan’s accusations that Israel has changed the status quo ignores moves that the Muslims have carried out at the site, including turning an area known as Solomon’s Stables in the mid-1990s into a mosque. Most recently, they converted a structure facing the Golden Gate, or Gate of Mercy, into a mosque.

After the Six Day War only one mosque operated on the Temple Mount. Today, there are five.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs said in a February 2019 statement, “It has been the Muslim side that has been violating the status quo over the years on the Temple Mount.”