Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Monday said he will stand against any attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount by so-called Israeli “extremists,” following clashes on Sunday at the holy site.
“Our responsibility towards the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem is our top priority in the international arena, and we use all means necessary to defend al-Aqsa Mosque,” King Abdullah said in an interview to the Jordanian daily, Al-Dustour, as reported in the Jerusalem Post.
King Abdullah claimed that Israel has continually tries to “change the status quo” on the Temple Mount, which currently restricts non-Muslim visitation and allows for unlimited Muslim prayer at the site. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said there will be no changes to the status quo.
Following the 1967 Six Day War, Jordan was given the authority to manage the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque, where several clashes have erupted over the years, often between Muslim activists and Jewish worshipers during holidays.
About 400 Jews visited the Temple Mount on Sunday to pray during the Jewish fast of Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the destruction of the Jewish Temples. Seven Jewish worshipers were detained for violating visitor rules. Groups of Muslims also clashed with police who were trying to distance them from Jewish visitors who were being escorted from the Temple Mount.