Jordan condemns Israel 'assault' on Al-Aqsa

Dozens hurt as Israeli security forces storm Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and assault Muslim worshipers, witnesses say

Jordan condemns Israel 'assault' on Al-Aqsa

World Bulletin / News Desk

Jordan, which has custodian rights over Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, condemned what it described as an assault Sunday by the Israeli army on the flashpoint holy site.

Egypt, the only other Arab country to have signed a peace treaty with the Jewish state, also condemned Israeli actions at the compound, which is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

"The Jordanian government condemns the assault carried out by special forces of the Israeli occupation army against the Al-Aqsa mosque compound," Information Minister Mohammed Momani said.

He accused Israel of "provocations" and "attempts to change the status quo" at one of the most sensitive holy sites in the Middle East.

Under the current status quo, Jews are permitted to visit the esplanade but not to pray there for fear it would cause friction with Muslim worshippers. 

Jordan's status as custodian of Al-Aqsa and other Muslim holy sites in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem is enshrined in the 1994 peace treaty between the two countries.

Muslim witnesses said Israeli police entered the mosque on Sunday morning and caused damage to prayer mats.

Israeli police said only that they closed the doors to the mosque to lock in rioters throwing stones, fireworks and other objects. 

They said clashes continued outside the compound in the narrow alleyways of Jerusalem's Old City, where they responded with tear gas and stun grenades. 

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 20 people required hospital treatment.

The Egyptian foreign ministry condemned the use of tear gas and sound bombs as an "unacceptable escalation against Muslim holy places in the occupied Palestinian territories".

The mosque compound is the site of frequent clashes. In late July, Israeli police entered Al-Aqsa as they clashed with Muslims angered by Jews' access to the compound on an annual day of Jewish mourning. 

Israeli security forces also entered the mosque last November, prompting Jordan to recall its ambassador for three months in protest.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Eylül 2015, 13:58