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Jordan slams Israeli 'assaults' on Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa compound Open in fullscreen

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Jordan slams Israeli 'assaults' on Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa compound

Israeli settlers regular storm the Al-Aqsa compound under the protection of Israeli forces [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 January, 2021

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Jordan's foreign ministry has called on Israeli authorities to stop protecting groups of hard-line settlers who regularly attempt to storm the Muslim holy compound.

Jordan issued a statement on Monday slamming Israel for "assaults" on the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, demanding that it respect its "historic and legal status quo".

Jordan's ministry of expatriate and foreign affairs took aim at Israel, which occupies East Jerusalem and the West Bank, for sanctioning the forced entry of hardline settlers into the mosque compound.

The ministry also decried the arrest of staff employed by the Jordan-run Islamic waqf, or ministry of religious endowments, who control and manage Islamic edifices in Islam's third holiest city.

"The Noble Jerusalem sanctuary… is a site of worship exclusive to Muslims," said Dayfullah Al-Fayez, a spokesman for Jordan's foreign ministry.

"The Jordan-run administration of Jerusalem's religious endowments and Al-Aqsa affairs is - based on international law and historic and legal status quo - exclusively in charge of managing the site and regulating entry," Al-Fayez added.

The spokesman urged the international community to pressure Israel to end "assaults" on the compound.

Jewish worshippers are not currently allowed into Al-Aqsa, but groups of settlers regularly storm the site under the protection of Israeli forces. Jewish Israelis call the area the Temple Mount and claim it was historically a site of two Jewish temples.

Read also: Palestinian Jerusalemites mourn Aqsa 'cat man' who died of coronavirus

Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem after a war with neighbouring Arab countries - including Jordan - since 1967. It has also annexed East Jerusalem.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

The US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv, the internationally-recognised capital of Israel, to Jerusalem in 2018, causing global outrage.

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