Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Muslim faithful pray on Temple Mount, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid

Lapid mulls harsh response to Jordan's condemnation of al-Aqsa unrest

Diplomatic sources say Amman's one-sided rebuke of Israeli forces only serves to further stoke tensions around Jerusalem flashpoint and put lives at risk instead of deescalating the situation

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 04.18.22, 17:47
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Monday held consultations on a response to Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi's condemnation of Israel for the recent clashes between security forces and rioters on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.
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  • Diplomatic sources familiar with the discussions said that the Jordanian minister's actions were only serving to further stoke tensions around the capital and put lives at risk.
    2 View gallery
    Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Muslim faithful pray on Temple Mount, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid
    Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Muslim faithful pray on Temple Mount, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid
    Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Muslim faithful pray on Temple Mount, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid
    (Photo: AFP, Reuters)
    "Instead of heating things up, it is expected of the Jordanian foreign ministry to escalate the situation and respect religious freedom to all peoples. It is a shame that Jordan chooses only to focus only on Israel and fails to condemn the rioters' behavior," the sources said.
    Israel claimed it made great efforts to allow freedom of worship to Muslims and Jews alike on the Temple Mount, and even allowed worshippers to stay at al-Aqsa through the night for the practice of I’tikaf unlike in previous years.
    However, some faithful did not respond to Israel's overtures in kind and collected stones at the mosque overnight to hurl at security forces the next day, alongside the firing of fireworks.
    Meanwhile, Jerusalem claims that the Waqf — the Islamic religious trust which controls and manages the Islamic edifices on and around the Temple Mount — is unable and unwilling to deescalate the situation at the volatile flashpoint.
    Temple Mount riots
    (Video: Israel Police)
    Although relations between Jerusalem and Amman have improved greatly under the current Israeli government, the two countries are standing on the precipice of a full-blown diplomatic crisis due to Jordan's vehement condemnation of the Temple Mount riots and the Hashemite Kingdom's decision to reprimand the Israeli envoy over the events.
    Meanwhile, Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh on Monday praised the rioters during a parliament session.
    "I praise the Palestinians and the members of the Jordanian Islamic Waqf who stand guard proudly, and those who throw stones and the Zionists who desecrate the al-Aqsa Mosque with the support of the Israeli government," he said.
    Amman sent a letter to Israeli Chargé D'affaires Sami Abu Janeb, which he was asked to pass on to the government posthaste, stressing the need to respect the rights of worshipers.
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    מתחם הר הבית לאחר ההתפרעויות
    מתחם הר הבית לאחר ההתפרעויות
    Rocks pre-prepared by Palestinian rioters on Temple Mount before clashes with Israeli forces
    (Photo: Israel Police)
    The letter also stated that Israel must stop its attempts to "change the historical and legal status quo around the al-Aqsa Mosque" and calls Israel's actions around the mosque "a reprehensible breach of international law and of Israel's obligations."
    "Security forces have a free hand to calm the situation on the one hand, and to thwart any attempt of violence on the other. Security forces are prepared for any scenario."
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