AMMAN – The Jordanian foreign ministry summoned on Sunday the Israeli ambassador in Amman in protest over ultra-Orthodox Jews entering al-Aqsa Mosque compound and remarks made recently by an Israeli official regarding the status of the holy site.
Undersecretary Zeid al-Lawzi summoned ambassador Amir Weissbrod to hand him a “strongly worded protest,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Sofian al-Qudah said in a statement.
“Al-Lawzi asked the Israeli ambassador to relay to his government an emphatic message that urged an immediate halt of all Israeli violations and attempts that seek to change the historical and legal status ruling at Haram al-Sharif,” al-Qudah said.
The Jordanian government also protested a statement by the Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who recently called for a change in the status quo at al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine, so that Jews can also pray there.
“The Israeli ambassador was also told that Jordan strongly condemns the latest statement by the Israeli Minister of Public Security regarding the status quo at al-Aqsa Mosque and asserts that the entire area of Haram al-Sharif is a worship place for Muslims exclusively,” he added.
Jordan, based on a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, is the guardian of peace for the sites sacred to Muslims and Christians in East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967.
The Esplanade of Mosques, known as the Temple Mount in Judaism, is the most sacred place for Islam after Mecca and Medina.
Tension has remained high around the compound since last Sunday when scores of Palestinians and Israelis were injured in clashes.