Al-Aqsa Mosque Under Israeli Control, Says Israeli PM

“We reject any foreign interference,” said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as he retracted agreements between Israel and Jordan on managing Al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound and preventing incursions by Jewish settlers into its courtyards.

This decision has been seen as a denial of the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty that gave Jordan a role in managing and supervising Islamic and Christian sanctities in Jerusalem.

“Decisions regarding Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem will be taken by the Israeli government”, Bennett added on Sunday 8. He claimed Israel would continue to maintain respectful treatment toward people of all religions in Jerusalem, which reality has proven to be untruthful.

Bennett’s words have caused outrage among Jordanians and Palestinians since they consider the statement to ignite religious conflict. The Palestine Committee of the Jordanian Parliament denounced the prime minister’s statements as “irresponsible” and has called “not to test the patience of two billion Muslims.” They have reiterated Jordan’s rejection of the temporal and spatial division of Al-Aqsa and stressed Jerusalem will remain the capital of Palestine.

As Arab News describes, Jordanian MP Mohammed Al-Zahrawi called Israel a colonial occupying power that practices terrorism and criminality against the Palestinian people, and which lacks religious, historical, or legal legitimacy in Jerusalem.

In the same line, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned Bennett’s tweet because it “exposes the lies of Israeli officials who always claimed the occupation’s keenness to maintain the status quo at al-Aqsa Mosque” in a statement.

The ministry stressed that Bennett’s statements showed racist colonialism with distinction, describing them as an official Israeli insistence on escalating the aggression against Jerusalem and its holy sites.

Jordan’s role in managing the Al-Aqsa compound

As part of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty, it was agreed that Jordan would retain a unique role in the mosque complex, with each party providing access to places of religious and historical interest. The two parties also agreed to work together to strengthen relations, peace, and tolerance between the three monotheistic religions recalls Arab news.

Palestinians are demanding Israeli authorities remove a model of a temple, located at the entrance to the Mughrabi Gate, through which extremist Jewish settlers enter the compound because it shows their goal to replace the Dome of the Rock.

It is believed that Bennett’s statements came in response to the head of the United List, Mansour Abbas, who said on May 7 that his party’s position was dictated by understandings between Israel and Jordan regarding the holy sites in Jerusalem. The United List had announced that its members would not participate in the vote on a bill proposed by the Likud party to dissolve the Knesset Wednesday 11.

According to Israeli media, the fear among right-wing parties in Israel is that the Joint List will decide to vote against the dissolution of the Knesset and drop the proposal, making it impossible to present another one for six months.

Jordanian and Israeli officials had agreed to meet after Ramadan to discuss arrangements around Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the Islamic Awqaf in Jerusalem told Arab News that “no structures have taken place regarding such meetings.” They have not been informed about any meetings. What is for sure is that Bennett’s words are a flagrant violation of international law, and a clear step toward more violent escalation.

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