Jordan threatens legal action against Israel over Al-Aqsa
Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Thursday vowed to take legal action against Israel over the latter’s repeated violations of East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque complex, which is administered by the Jordanian government.
“[Judeh] delivered a strongly-worded message to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over Israel’s continued violations of the holy [site],” Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said in a Thursday statement.
The ministry added that Jordanian King Abdullah II had ordered the government to use any means – including legal ones if necessary – to “resist these illegal violations and assaults… on the sanctity of Al-Aqsa.”
According to the statement, Judeh, in his talks with Ban, decried recent intrusions by Israeli police into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, Israel’s decision to ban the entry of Muslim worshippers under 50, and the assault of worshippers and mosque guards by Israeli police.
He also reportedly denounced Israel’s decision to allow extremist Jewish settlers to regularly enter the Al-Aqsa complex.
“These stark violations risk dragging the region into a religious conflict that would stifle any opportunity to achieve peace… and fuel extremism and terrorism in the region and the world,” the statement read.
The statement was issued following clashes between hundreds of Palestinian protesters and Israeli police.
The violence broke out on Wednesday in Jerusalem after Israel closed the Al-Aqsa complex to Muslims to allow Jewish settlers to enter the premises to celebrate the week-long Jewish Sukkot holiday.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Since the 1950s, Muslim and Christian religious sites in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City have been administered by neighboring Jordan.
A 1994 peace treaty between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom recognized the latter’s special supervisory role over the historical city’s holy sites.