Jordan summoned the Israeli Ambassador on Tuesday to protest police obstruction of the Kingdom’s Envoy during his visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem, Anadolu News Agency reports.
In a statement, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said the Israeli Envoy was handed “a strongly-worded letter of protest to be delivered immediately to his government.”
The letter included a reminder that the Jordan-run Jerusalem Waqf Department is the exclusive authority supervising holy sites in Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa Mosque, the statement said.
“Israel, as an occupying power, must adhere to its obligations under international law and the international humanitarian law towards the Occupied city of Jerusalem and its sanctities, especially the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Ministry spokesman, Sinan Majali said.
Israel must “put a stop to attempts to change the historic status quo” in Occupied Jerusalem, he added.
According to eyewitnesses, the Jordanian Ambassador was stopped by Israeli police at the Lion’s Gate (Bab Al-Asbat), at the northern side of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and prevented from entering the site on claims of lack of coordination.
Israeli police, for its part, said the Jordanian diplomat was not denied entry but briefly delayed from entering the site, according to public broadcaster, KAN.
Jordan has been the official custodian of Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem since 1924, and was publicly acclaimed as the custodian of Jerusalem’s holy sites.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third-holiest site. Jews, for their part, call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognised by the international community.