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Tension over al Aqsa Mosque curb escalates, Jordan urged to scrap peace deal with Israel

Thursday July 27, 2017 12:06 PM, News Network

Al Aqsa Mosque Tension
[Mourners carry the body of 17-year-old Mohammad Jawawdah, who was killed on the weekend when he attacked a security guard at the Israeli embassy compound in the Jordanian capital with a screwdriver, during his funeral in Amman, Tuesday. (Photo: AFP)]

Jerusalem/United Nations/Amman:
Tension over curb and violations by the Israeli force in Al Aqsa Mosque escalated further with Saudi Arabia warning global repercussions and people in Jordan urging their government to scrap peace deal with Israel.

Israeli authorities angered Muslims all over the world by installing metal detectors at the entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. They replaced the metal detectors on Monday after international condemnation and Palestinian protests, but replaced these with CCTV cameras, metal railings and an iron bridge.

Addressing the UN Security Council on Tuesday, the Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Abdullah Al-Moallimi said that Saudi Arabia reiterates its rejection of all attempts to impose unilateral control and actions aimed at harming Al-Quds and Haram Al-Sharif.

He stressed that the only way to peace is to return to the Arab peace initiative and to put in place an effective international mechanism to ensure that the Palestinian people have all their inalienable rights in accordance with a specific time frame and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds as its capital with June 4, 1967, borders.

Several thousand Jordanians urged their government on Tuesday to close the Israeli Embassy in Amman and scrap an unpopular peace treaty during the funeral of a young Jordanian shot dead by an Israeli security guard in the embassy.

Dozens of demonstrators chanted "No to an Israeli embassy or ambassador on Jordanian land!", and called for a jihad — or holy war — as they carried the coffin of Mohammad Jawawdah, 16, to his burial place in a cemetery in the capital.

Jordanian police said on Monday that Jawawdah, who worked in a furniture firm, had got into a brawl with the Israeli security guard after entering the fortress-like compound of the embassy on Sunday to deliver an order.

They said the Israeli security guard had fired on Jawawdah after the young man attacked him, but did not confirm Israel's account that he had used a screwdriver to stab the guard in what Israeli officials described as a "terrorist attack".

Israel said the security officer had acted in self-defense when he shot Jawawdah while his father said the young teenager had no militant links.

The staff of Israel's Embassy in Jordan, including the security guard involved in the shooting incident, returned to Israel from Amman on Monday.

Responding to public anger that the security guard was able to leave Jordan, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the Israeli had been protected by diplomatic immunity, but he vowed to "get justice" for the victims of what he called a "criminal attack".

"The government had insisted that the person who committed the crime should not leave", Safadi said, adding that the Israeli security guard left the country only after the authorities got his testimony to pursue a legal case against him.

"The government acted in a way to ensure the rights of Jordanian citizens," Safadi said denying any secret deal that allowed his departure.

On the other hand, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner for helping to bring the embassy staff home as well as Jordan's King Abdullah "for our close cooperation".

Israeli media showed a smiling Netanyahu embracing the security guard after meeting him on Tuesday. He said his government had a "commitment to get you out, that was never a question".

"You represent the state of Israel and Israel doesn't forget that for a moment", Netanyahu added.

Jordan's peace accord with Israel, the second to be concluded with Israel by an Arab country after Egypt, is unpopular with many Jordanians, many of whom are of Palestinian origin.

Meanwhile, A senior Muslim official in occupied Jerusalem said Wednesday that worshippers would not return to Al-Aqsa Mosque until Israel removes the new railings and cameras.

Ikrema Sabri, the head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, said that even after Israel removed metal detectors at the site more steps were required. He said mass prayer protests would continue until the gates of the compound were opened, metal railings and an iron bridge removed and newly installed cameras taken down.

He said a lawyer working on behalf of the Muslim administration of the holy site will be in touch with Israeli police to make the demands.

“We will not enter the mosque until these things are implemented,” he told Associated Press.

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