Amman slams Israel for blocking renovation on al-Aqsa
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry sends a protest note calling for "an end to the provocations" and to "respect the mandate" which entrusts the management of the area to Waqf. The police allegedly blocked access and identified workers and technicians, with threats of arrest and deportation. So far no official reaction from the Israeli government.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A new battle front has opened between Jordan, guardian of the Holy Sites of Jerusalem through the Waqf group, and the Israeli authorities who have been blocking restoration work on the al-Aqsa mosque and compound. Daifallah Alfayez, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Amman, says his government has sent a "note of protest", demanding Israel "put an end to violations and provocations" and "respect the mandate" he assigns to Jordan " the control of Muslim sacred places ”.
So far there have been no official reactions from the Israeli government.
Over the weekend, the Israeli police raided the Temple Mount complex and prevented the workers attending to the directives of Waqf (the pious Muslim foundation that deals with the sacred places of Islam) from proceeding with the long-planned restoration operations.
In the note, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry criticizes Israel’s intervention, recalling that the Waqf "is the sole authority responsible for the care and supervision of the compound". The Amman government accuses the police of having blocked "all reconstruction works", including the interruption of "supplies and basic materials necessary for routine maintenance".
According to the Muslim foundation that presides over the place of worship, the maintenance teams "have not been able to repair even the basic parts of the mosque and their workers are subjected to intimidation, threats of arrest, trial and deportation". The Israeli policemen, concludes the Waqf indictment, interrupted the work "by photocopying the identity cards of workers and technicians, preventing them from operating and threatening arrests" in the event of further infringements of their provisions.
Under the peace treaty signed in 1994, Israel recognizes Jordan's supervision and care of Muslim holy sites in East Jerusalem. Known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Sacred Shrine) and Temple Mount to Jews, the complex is home to the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.