Jordan’s prime minister praises violent Temple Mount rioters, sparking a harsh response from Israeli counterpart.
By World Israel News Staff
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett slammed Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh for his statements praising Temple Mount rioters, calling the official’s remarks “unacceptable” and viewed with the “utmost severity” by Israel.
On Monday, during a parliament speech, Khasawneh 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.”
It’s highly unusual for an official representing Jordan, which has had a peace treaty with Israel since 1994, to use this type of incendiary language when speaking about the Jewish state.
Bennett responded with a statement which, while not calling out Khasawneh by name, clearly referenced his comments.
It is unthinkable that “there are those who are encouraging rock-throwing and the use of violence against the citizens of the State of Israel,” Bennett stated.
He added that irresponsible statements serve as “a reward for the inciters, especially Hamas, who are trying to ignite violence in Jerusalem. We will not allow this to happen.”
Diplomatic relations between Israel and Jordan have rapidly deteriorated against the backdrop of clashes between Arab rioters and Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount.
Also on Monday, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it had “summoned the charge d’affaires of the Israeli embassy in Amman…to deliver a message of protest over illegitimate and provocative Israeli violations at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Eighty-seven members of the Jordanian parliament then signed a measure calling for the Hashemite Kingdom to expel the Israeli ambassador
Jordan also unexpectedly closed its southern Aqaba crossing point with Israel on Sunday, leaving hundreds of Israeli citizens stranded in a no-man’s-land for hours.
Hebrew-language media reported that senior citizens, pregnant women, and small children — unable to cross into Israel or Jordan — were stuck in the desert sun for long periods of time without shade, food or water.
Though Jordanian officials chalked up the incident to logistical issues, some say that the move was intentional and meant to punish Israelis for the arrests on the Temple Mount.