Jordan issued a formal complaint to the Israeli Foreign Ministry over the record number of visitors that ascended to the Temple Mount over the week of Passover.
Jordan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Daifallah al-Fayez tweeted on Thursday that his country “condemned the continuation of the Israeli violations in the al-Aqsa Mosque/al-Haram al-Sharif.”
He added that most recently “extremists” had been able “to enter the mosque in large numbers under the protection of the Israeli police, in flagrant violation of the legal and historical status quo and international law.”
Temple Mount Heritage Foundation CEO Tom Nissani said that the 2,641 Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount during the intermediary days of Passover set a record.
“The Jordanians are protesting the high number of Jews who entered the Temple Mount compound and have sent a letter to Israel about the ‘violations of the status quo’ on the site,” reported Gilad Cohen, a Hebrew-language journalist writing for Ynet.
2600 יהודים עלו להר הבית בימי החג. כך עולה מנתוני הקרן למורשת הר הבית וסטודנטים למען הר הבית. הירדנים מוחים על מספר כזה של כניסת יהודים להר הבית ושיגרו לישראל איגרת בה התלוננו על הפרות של הסטטוס קוו בהר. האיגרת הועברה ע”י שגרירות ירדן בישראל למשרד החוץ בירושלים@ynetalerts pic.twitter.com/dHJPGTxUkx
— גלעד כהן | Gilad Cohen (@GiladCohenJR) April 1, 2021
The status quo, as it applies to the Temple Mount, refers to an understanding among religious communities with respect to nine shared religious sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem based on a standard established under the Ottoman Empire in 1757.
The Hashemite family that rules over Jordan was granted custodianship of the Jewish and Christian holy sites in British mandate Jerusalem in 1924 by the Supreme Muslim Council via a verbal agreement. The eastern section of Jerusalem was illegally occupied by Jordan in 1948. Israel unified Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.
According to the agreement between Israel and the Jordanian government, no symbols of Israeli nationalism were permitted nor were any displays of any other religion except for Islam. Christians and Jews may only visit the site as tourists and only for four hours per day five days per week.
Jordan renounced claims to the territory in 1988, and signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, whose 9th article states that Israel commits to “respect the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem.”
In 1980, Israel passed the Basic Law establishing that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.” The law stated that “the Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings towards those places.”
Many media make the mistaken claim that the Temple Mount, the site of the two Jewish Temples, is “the third holiest site in Islam.” The historical truth is that this claim is deeply insulting to much of Sunni Islam.