World Bulletin / News Desk
“The minister warned against the repercussions of the recent tensions, which could be de-escalated by obliging Israel to respect the historical and legal situation in the mosque and to fully and immediately open the holy shrine before worshippers,” according to Jordan’s official Petra News Agency. Safadi discussed the situation with the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
“Israel must cancel all its unilateral actions,” the minister said as he demanded the international community help ease tensions and prevent further escalation.
Israeli authorities closed the Al-Aqsa compound and canceled weekly Friday prayers for the first time in nearly five decades, following a shootout last week that killed three Palestinians and two Israeli policemen near the holy site in East Jerusalem.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed with Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday, the growing tensions in Jerusalem between Palestinians and Israelis
“Any restriction on Muslims entering Al-Aqsa Mosque is unacceptable,” Erdogan told his Palestinian counterpart.
Erdogan later called Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and voiced regret for the loss of life amid the friction between the two groups, according to Turkish presidential sources.
Israeli soldiers wounded nine Palestinians and arrested four others Wednesday, during protests against the closure.
Protests began Sunday after the mosque's leadership called on worshipers to boycott new metal detectors installed at the entrances.
Israel has defended the move, claiming it was no different from security measures at other holy sites around the world.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming all of Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s "eternal" capital -- a move never recognized by the international community.
Sacred to Muslims, Jews, and Christians, Jerusalem is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents Islam’s third holiest site after the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.