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Jordan condemns repeated violations by Israeli settlers against Aqsa Mosque

Extremist Israeli settlers are seen walking in the courtyard of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds on October 3, 2023 as Israeli forces secure the area. (Photo by Shehab news agency)

The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has condemned the ongoing violations by Jewish extremists against the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds, and the Israeli regime’s restrictive measures on Palestinians in the holy site.

Sufyan Qudah, the spokesman for the ministry, urged Israel to live up to its obligations under international law as the occupying power in East al-Quds, stressing that all practices and violations against al-Quds Mosque must end and its sanctity respected.

“Israel has no sovereignty over occupied East al-Quds and has no right to impose restrictions on the entry to the holy compound,” Qudah said,

The Jordan-run Islamic Waqf Department, which is in charge of al-Aqsa Mosque affairs, has the exclusive jurisdiction over the site, he added.

Qudah reiterated that the mosque compound is purely a place of worship for Muslims.

The escalating provocations inside and around the mosque constitute “a flagrant and unacceptable” violation of international law and the existing historical and legal status quo in al-Quds and its holy sites, he pointed out.

On Tuesday, hundreds of Jewish settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound under the protection of Israeli security forces.

Eyewitnesses reported that the settlers broke into the courtyards of the sacred site through the Moroccans’ Gate, also known as the Mughrabi Gate, and performed Talmudic rituals on the fourth day of the Jewish Sukkot holiday.

Hard-line Israeli officials and settlers regularly storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city, a provocative move that infuriates Palestinians.

Such mass break-ins almost always take place at the behest of Tel Aviv-backed temple groups and under the auspices of the Israeli police in al-Quds.

The Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted but as part of a decades-old agreement between Jordan – the custodian of Islamic and Christian sites in al-Quds – and Israel in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited.

In October 2021, an Israeli court upheld a ban on Jewish prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, after an earlier lower court’s decision stirred outrage among various Palestinians and across the Muslim world.

The district court judge in al-Quds Aryeh Romanov on October 8 confirmed that Jews are barred from worshiping openly at the site, and only Muslims are permitted to pray there.

In May 2021, frequent acts of violence against Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war between Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli regime, during which the regime forces killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.

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