Jordan Recalls Israel Envoy Amid Spiralling Conflict in Jerusalem
Jordan on Wednesday recalled its ambassador to Israel in protest against what it described as Israeli “violations” in Jerusalem and its holy sites, the Jordanian state news agency reported.
The decision was taken “in protest at the increasing and unprecedented Israeli escalation in the Noble Sanctuary, and the repeated Israeli violations of Jerusalem,” the news agency said.
Jordan and Israel signed peace agreement in 1994.
The Noble Sanctuary is the Islamic term used to describe the compound housing Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock – the third holiest site in Islam. The site is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and is the holiest site in Judaism.
The move came as Israeli security forces entered a Jerusalem holy compound and clashed with Palestinian stone throwers on Wednesday, officials said.
Daily clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in the streets of East Jerusalem and the Old City compound have stoked fears of a new Palestinian Intifada, or uprising.
Israeli police said Palestinians began throwing stones and firecrackers at police officers minutes before the sacred plaza, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, was to open for visitors.
The complex houses Islam’s al Aqsa mosque and is where two biblical Jewish temples once stood.
Reuters television footage showed a few Israeli border policemen running through the compound while a group of Jewish worshippers and tourists waited outside to enter.
“Police entered the area, pushed the masked rioters back, and they fled back into al Aqsa. Police closed the front gate of the mosque but did not enter,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
The officers used stun grenades to disperse the crowd and the situation was now under control, he said.
Omar Alkeswani, a Palestinian manager of al Aqsa, said police entered al-Aqsa and that 20 people were wounded in the clash.