Al-Aqsa flares up tensions between Israel, Jordan

Press TV, Oct. 12, 2009

Jordan has threatened to expel Israel's ambassador over the regime's aggression in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the occupied East Jerusalem Al-Quds.

According to a report by the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi, Jordan threatened the expulsion in response to Israeli violation of the sanctity of Al-Aqsa mosque over the last two weeks.

Israel deployed thousands of troops in the area after it closed down the Al-Aqsa mosque compound to Palestinians and allowed Jewish worshippers to hold a religious ceremony in the site.

The closure of the holy compound caused fierce clashes in the city.

Under a peace treaty signed in 1994, Israel recognized Jordan's right to look after all Islamic and Christian holy sites in East Jerusalem al-Quds, which is considered by the United Nations as an occupied territory.

Last week, a senior Jordanian official called on Israeli police to keep Jewish religious extremists away from the compound d— known to Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount — and keep the Mugrabi Gate closed, Haaretz reported.

"That will calm the atmosphere while respecting the Jordanian role in Al-Aqsa mosque," said the official.

Before the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000, visits to the holy site had to be coordinated with the Waqf religious trust, which is under Jordanian control.

Between 2000 and 2003, non-Muslims were completely barred from the area until the Israel police decided unilaterally to reverse the ban.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem Al-Quds during a 1967 aggression and later annexed it.


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