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Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa ‘exclusive worship place for Muslims’: Jordan

Saying that Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa is an “exclusive worship place for Muslims,” Jordan on Sunday renewed its condemnation of Israeli raids on Al-Aqsa.

Violence rose across the Palestinian territories after Israeli police last week forcibly removed worshippers from the flashpoint holy site in occupied East Jerusalem.

The Israeli raids on the mosque triggered rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, with Israeli retaliating with air and artillery shelling.

“Al-Aqsa Mosque is an exclusive place of worship for Muslims,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Sinan Majali said in a statement.

He added that the Jordan-run Jerusalem Waqf Department is the exclusive authority supervising holy sites in Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa.

“The Israeli government is responsible for the recent escalation of tensions in Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories,” Majali said.

The Jordanian spokesman said Israel, as the occupying power, “has a legal obligation to abide by international laws and stop any actions that would violate the sanctity of the holy sites.”

In 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty under which Jordan would continue to supervise the holy sites in East Jerusalem.

In March 2013, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II signed an agreement to defend Jerusalem and its holy sites.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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