Jordan has stated its diplomatic ties with Israel are at risk because of the unrest on the Temple Mount. Who is really to blame for the violence?
Jordan has threatened to sever diplomatic ties with Israel as a result of the unrest on the Temple Mount.
Hael Abd–el Hafiz Daud, the Jordanian Minister for Sacred Properties and Islamic Holy Sites, attacked Israel on Friday, claiming that the closing of the Temple Mount for Muslim worshipers was “a dangerous escalation by the Israeli authorities and state terrorism that is unacceptable, and we cannot keep quiet about it.” He added that “Al-Aqsa is a place of worship for Muslims only and will not be shut down to them under any excuses, security or otherwise.”
Daud called on Muslim nations and international organizations to help Jordan in lifting the “terrorist siege” on al-Aqsa mosque. He alleged that Israel was taking advantage of the Glick assassination attempt in order to gain control of the Temple Mount.
Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas also condemned Israel’s decision. “This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation,” spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina quoted the PA leader as saying.
The Temple Mount was shut down to worshipers of all religions on Thursday following the recent wave of Arab violence that has been plaguing Jerusalem. The wave of terror culminated with the Islamic Jihad assassination attempt on the life of Rabbi Yehuda Glick.
King Abdullah of Jordan lashed out at Israel on Sunday and vowed that his country would protect the Christian and Muslim holy sites.
Netanyahu: Muslim Extremists Aim to Ignite the Entire Middle East
Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed the blame for the violence on Muslim extremists who, he said, are aiming to ignite a religious war: “We will certainly oppose all systematic and continuing attempts by Islamic extremist elements to stir up unrest. They would like to set a religious fire in Jerusalem and thereby ignite the entire Middle East. The place they are most determined on is the Temple Mount. They are disseminating lies to the effect that we intend to destroy or harm the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that we intend to prevent Muslim from praying there. They are using verbal and physical violence in an effort to exclude Jews from going up to the Temple Mount. We will not allow this to happen; neither will we alter the worship arrangements and the access to the Temple Mount that has been customary for decades. We are committed to the status quo for Jews, Muslims and Christians.”
Netanyahu stressed that Israel was working to restore peace and order: “What is necessary now is to calm the situation and to act with responsibility and restraint. This is always the case, but it is especially so now when the entire Middle East is awash in Islamic extremism. Just as important countries around us, important Arab countries, see eye-to-eye with Israel on the danger that extremist Islam poses to all of us.”
Israel is currently marking the 20th anniversary of the signing of the peace accords with Jordan.
By Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel