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October 22, 2015 7:43 am

Report: Jordanian King, Palestinian President Reject Israeli Offer to Reduce Number of Non-Muslim Visitors to Temple Mount

avatar by David Daoud

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King Abdullah II of Jordan. Photo: Chatham House.

King Abdullah II of Jordan. Photo: Chatham House.

In an effort to reduce tensions and restore calm, Israel presented an offer to Jordan and the Palestinian Authority to reduce the number of Jewish and other non-Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount, Israeli website Walla reported on Wednesday, basing its information on Arab sources.

According to these sources, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the offer, however, on the grounds that it was insufficient. Indeed, said the sources, the Jordanians and Palestinians are demanding not only a reduction in non-Muslim visitors to the site, but also a return to the status quoas it existed before September 28, 2000.  At that time, visits by non-Muslims to the Temple Mount were handled and monitored solely by the trust, the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf. Since 2003, however, the Israel Police has been responsible for managing non-Muslim visits to the Temple Mount.

The Arab sources also told Walla that there was great anger towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Jordanian King’s court, and that until the Israeli government returns to the pre-2000 status quo, King Abdullah will refuse to meet with Netanyahu, and there will be no real easing of tensions.

According to Walla, Netanyahu’s coalition partners were enraged by the Israeli proposal to Jordan and the P.A., with Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (of the right-wing Jewish Home party) threatening to resign from the government if it agreed to a reversal of the current status quo.

Ariel said that even the current status quo — according to which Jewish prayer is forbidden on the Temple Mount, and Jews are limited in the hours they are allowed to enter the site — is “horrible.” He said it was a “disgrace” that a Jew could be arrested for saying the Shema [a key Jewish prayer] on the Temple Mount.

MK Yinon Magal, also from the Jewish Home party and a former editor-in-chief of Walla, expressed equal disappointment.

“It is not possible that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has surrendered to Arab violence,” he said.

Magal added that while he did not believe Netanyahu would hinder Jewish freedom of worship on the Temple Mount, he demanded an immediate guarantee from the prime minister, “Because we, as members of the governing coalition, will not accept such a decision.”



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  • Joseph Feld

    Viscount Herbert Samuel was the first British High Commissioner of Palestine. On his way to Palestine he stopped in Rome to clarify for Pope Benedict XV the British view on religion in British Palestine. Viscount Samuel said ‘an impartial attitude would be observed towards all religions and that there would be complete religious toleration and liberty in British Palestine’. Another major consideration is that the Israeli unwritten constitution guarantees that Israel will protect the religious sites of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Israeli Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Aharon Barak, ruled that in line with these previous rulings Jews have the legal right to ascend the Temple Mount [a Jewish holy place] and to pray privately on the Mount. In the same spirit Jews and Muslims share the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Jews and Christians share the Tomb of King David. Just to note, the platform of Herod’s Temple Mount covers 144,000 square metres or 37 acres or about 20 football fields. There is enough room for Jews and Muslims!

    • jeremy

      No country, least the most persecuted people by far in human history, should be stuck with dictates of antisemitic colonialists from the early 20th Century.

      Western Civilization signed an agreement when it stole the Jewish system and ideas perpetually that they wouldn’t have a unique genicidal obsession only with the Jews, they broke that one within a second, and have every year since.

      How is anyone talking about a colonialist antisemitic dictate of nation building and foreign micromanaging a hundred years later?

      Is there any other example of such fascism. Internal control of a people? So to disgusting pig like you, Israel is a Jewish ghetto in the mid-east. The onlly place in fact in the mid-east where the oldest continuous semitic people are “allowed” to “settle”.

  • Yeshayahu Goldfeld

    The king of Jordan and his minority regime as well as the very existence of Mahmud ‘Abbas
    depend on the good will of Israel and should not criticize .

  • Andrew

    Is Bibi, giving Israel away, doesn’t he realize that this isn’t Saudi Arabia’s Mecca, were everyone is discriminated against except Muslims. Stop giving in, kick the Wahf out and take control of your own land.