Jordan warns Israel of consequences over Al-Aqsa mosque violations

Jordan on Sunday called for Israel to deny visits by settlers, remove Israeli soldiers amid ramped up security and uptick in Jewish visits for Passover holiday at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The Jordanian government warned Israel against violating the status quo on the compound after several hundred settlers and tourists visited the contested holy site on the first intermediate day of the Jewish Passover holiday.

Jordan acts as custodian of the flashpoint religious site, which is a holy site in Judaism and third holiest to Muslims.

Jordanian State Minister for Media Affairs, Muhammad Al-Momani, said in a statement to the Jordan News Agency (Petra) that the Israeli violations against worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram al-Sharif are a violation of international laws and conventions, warning that such practices would lead to dangerous consequences.

The Minister, who is also Government Spokesman, demanded Israeli occupation authorities to immediately stop such moves, deny entry to settlers and Israeli occupation forces (IOF) into the yards of the holy shrine and allow Palestinian worshipers to enter the mosque.

On Sunday early morning, Israeli police spokeswoman, Luba Samri, said in a statement that the Israeli police intend to allow Jewish/settler visits to the site to continue as ‘normal’ during the holiday, though they won’t allow disturbances.

“We will not allow disturbances of public order or security, and we will act decisively against anyone who tries to do so,” she said.

On Friday, Israeli police detained 10 Jewish men suspected of planning to sacrifice goats on the Compound in honor of the Passover holiday.

The third holiest site in Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, it is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place, as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.

In ancient times, Jews used to sacrifice a lamb on Passover Eve and eat it as part of the traditional Seder meal.

Last year, more than 50,000 Jewish worshipers attended the Birkat Kohanim (priestly blessing) ceremony at the Western Wall, which will be held on Monday this year.

Israel has also closed off all crossing points for Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Over 70 Palestinians, including women and elderly people, have been banned from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound since the start of the month.