Despite diplomatic relations between Jordan and Israel, the Hashemite king continues to accuse Israel of attempting to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.
Jordanian King Abdullah II, in an interview with the Jordanian Ad-Dustour newspaper, warned that “repeated violations and attacks carried out by Israel and extremist groups” and any attempt to change the status quo on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem would be met with a harsh response, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The Hashemite leader issued the warning on Monday, the day after Tisha b’Av, the day on the Hebrew calendar when Jews mourn the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples, which were located at the site. Several archaeological excavations, in fact, have proven the Jewish connection.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly affirmed that there will be no change to the current status quo. Although the IDF liberated the Old City in the 1967 Six Day War, authority over the Mount was given to the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic Trust).
Nowadays, Jews who visit the Mount are restricted from praying and from showing any emotional attachment to the site by, for example, shedding tears. A visitor last week, overwhelmed by emotion, was arrested for crying.
False Accusations Incite Terror
Accusing Israel of attempting to change the status quo, Israeli officials say, is tantamount to incitement to violence.
In September, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas asserted, “Al-Aqsa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They [the Jews] have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet,” adding praise for the Muslim terrorists who attack Israeli police officers sent to protect Jewish worshipers. Since then, the Palestinian ‘knife Intifada” – which included, besides stabbings, shootings and vehicular attacks – claimed 39 lives and wounded approximately 500 people, many seriously.
“Our responsibility towards the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem is our top priority in the international arena, and we use all means necessary to defend al-Aksa Mosque,” Abdullah declared in the interview.
Jordanian border officials last week, not for the first time, barred the entry of Jews who were wearing traditional religious attire when they attempted to visit the country. The group, according to Israel’s Channel 2, had planned to pray at the alleged grave site of Aaron, the brother of Moses, located near Petra. These incidents point to deep-seated anti-Semitic policy, despite the positive diplomatic relations between Israel and Jordan.