Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Ayman Hussein Abdullah Al-Safadi, spoke out against Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s comments on the Temple Mount, saying: “Israel is not sovereign over the Holy Sites in Jerusalem – this is occupied Palestinian land,” reports Walla. Although Al-Safadi did not outright say’ Temple Mount,’ it is often referred to as the premier holy site in Jerusalem by the Hashemite Kingdom.
In a recent interview with Jordanian media, Amman’s top diplomat said: “Israel is not sovereign over the Al Aksa Mosque – this is a place for Muslim worship. Only the Jordanian Wakf has full authority over the compound.”
Al-Safadi added that the path to calm is to “respect the status quo” but blamed Israel for “making it more difficult for the Wakf to safeguard the Al Aksa mosque and disrupts the Wakf from carrying out their duties. The Wakf office has appointed tens of new employees in the Al Aksa compound, but Israel is placing hurdles in front of their work.”
On Tuesday, Israel365 News reported that Palestinian violence on the Temple Mount led to negotiations between the Israeli and Jordanian governments; a flurry of contradictory statements from Israeli officials and the Waqf made the situation even worse. At the same time, the King of Jordan has remained enigmatically silent while meeting with President Biden.
BENNETT: “ISRAELI SOVEREIGNTY HAS BEEN MAINTAINED”
On Sunday, Public Security Minister Bar-Lev and the police announced that the number of Waqf guards at the site will be increased by 50. In return, Barlev reportedly demanded that Waqf employees who support Hamas be removed from the compound.
This seems to contradict a statement made by the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday:
“There is no change of new development in the situation on the Temple Mount. Israeli sovereignty has been maintained,” the PMO stated. “All decisions about the Temple Mount will be made taking into consideration sovereignty, freedom of religion and security, and not through pressure from foreign or political factors.”