Jordan returning ambassador to Israel as Temple Mount tension subsides

The Temple Mount. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Jordan confirmed that it will return its ambassador to Israel after recalling the envoy from the Jewish state late last year over tension regarding the Temple Mount holy site.

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said that Israel has taken significant steps to help reduce tension on the Temple Mount and to ease restrictions on Muslim prayer that had been implemented. 

“We noticed in the last period a significant improvement in Haram al-Sharif (the Muslim term for Temple Mount), with numbers of worshippers reaching unprecedented levels,” Momani said.

Israel gained eastern Jerusalem and its holy sites from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War. But the Temple Mount is administered by the Islamic Waqf, a Muslim trust overseen by Jordan that limits non-Muslim visitation and bans Jewish prayer.

Jordan recalled its ambassador on Nov. 5, 2014, after Israeli police clashed with stone-throwing Palestinians on the Temple Mount. At the time, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh described the Israeli actions as “violations” that had gone “way beyond limits.”   

The Temple Mount clashes were part of a broader campaign of Palestinian riots and terrorism during the latter half of 2014. This included an assassination attempt on Rabbi Yehuda Glick, an Israeli activist who calls for greater Jewish access to the holy site. 

Amid the tension, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Amman to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in an effort to reassure Jordan that Israel would not change the status quo on the Temple Mount.

Posted on February 2, 2015 .