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Jordan blasts Israel for letting Jews pray at Temple Mount

In expressing its grievances, Jordan said that “Israel is violating the status quo in the area and is carrying out extreme provocations that harm relations between our two countries.”

Jews visit the Temple Mount compound, site of the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem's Old City, during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, Oct. 8, 2017. Photo by Yaakov Lederman/Flash90.
Jews visit the Temple Mount compound, site of the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem's Old City, during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, Oct. 8, 2017. Photo by Yaakov Lederman/Flash90.

The government of King Abdullah Hussein of Jordan has filed an official complaint with Israel’s Foreign Ministry for allowing members of the Jewish faith to utter Jewish prayers outside the entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

According to a report by Israel’s Channel 10 news, Jordan went through official channels to express its grievance that “Israel is violating the status quo in the area and is carrying out extreme provocations that harm relations between our two countries.”

The charge is that when Jews speak the words of any Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount—regardless of whether they are Israeli, in groups or even saying the words coherently so that those around them can hear—the act is contrary to a longstanding agreement between Israel and Jordan that allows Jews to walk on the Temple Mount but not to utter prayers of any kind.

The filing occurred after the Jerusalem Magistrate Court rejected a police request last month to temporarily ban three 14-year-old Jewish girls from the Temple Mount after they were caught bowing down in prayer outside the entrance.

“In a democratic state, we do not distance and certainly do not arrest citizens who want to pray in a place where one is allowed to pray,” the court said in its ruling.

Itamar Ben Gvir, the attorney who represented the Israeli teenagers, urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to summon the Jordanian ambassador to inform him that Israeli citizens can pray everywhere in Jerusalem.

When an increased number of Jews came to visit the Temple Mount during the Sukkot holiday in October, Jordan issued a scathing condemnation, calling it “the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by settlers and Jewish extremists.”

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