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Jordan blasts Israel’s closure of al-Aqsa mosque

Israeli troops scuffle with a man outside the entrance to Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds on August 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Jordan has condemned Israel’s recent move to shut down the al-Aqsa mosque, which forced Muslim worshipers out of the compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Jordanian Media Affairs Minister and government spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat said Saturday that the Israeli regime’s move violated the sanctity of the holy site, warning that it would “touch off the passions of Muslims around the world.”

Ghunaimat said the move contravenes the occupying regime’s obligations under international law.

Israel’s move, she said, violates all international norms, which affirm respect to all places of worship.

The Jordanian minister, whose country serves as the custodian of the al-Aqsa mosque compound, held the Tel Aviv regime responsible for such provocations and called for an immediate halt to such practices.

Israeli troops deny access to visitors to Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds on August 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

On Friday, Israeli forces closed all entrances to al-Aqsa mosque for hours following an alleged anti-occupation attack in the occupied city.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump announced his decision on December 6 last year to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

The dramatic shift in Washington’s policy vis-à-vis the city triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.

On December 21, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli “capital.”

In an attempt to prevent the passing of the resolution, Trump threatened reprisals against countries that backed the measure, which had earlier faced a US veto at the UN Security Council.

Israel, however, rejected the world body’s resolution while thanking Trump for his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Tel Aviv regime has been trying to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.

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