Jordan protests al-Aqsa restrictions
The King of Jordan is the official guardian of al-Aqsa mosque. (AFP/File)
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Jordan has formally protested restrictions imposed by Israeli authorities on Muslims seeking to pray inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest shrine, in occupied East Jerusalem.
Jordanian Ambassador in Tel Aviv Walid Obeidat has submitted a note of protest to the Israeli Foreign Ministry against preventing Muslim worshippers from entering the mosque Tuesday, Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sabah Refaei told Anadolu Agency.
She also criticized the Israeli closure of some of the mosque gates and the heavy Israeli troop deployment in and around the mosque compound.
"The Jordanian government also rejects the storming by hundreds of Jewish extremists of Al-Aqsa compound," she added.
In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers, often accompanied by Israeli security forces, have repeatedly forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
Refaei said Jordan holds Israel, as an occupation power, responsible for stopping these "provocative" actions.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. In 1980, it unilaterally annexed the area and claimed Jerusalem as the unified capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state - in a move never recognized by the international community.
In 1994, Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty that normalized relations between the two countries and allowed them to exchange ambassadors.
Ties between the two neighbors recently soured, however, after an Israeli lawmaker proposed legislation that would revoke Jordanian oversight of Islamic and Christian holy sites in East Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa Mosque, under the treaty.
The bill has not been put to the vote yet.
Jordanians were further angered by March's killing of a Jordanian judge by Israeli border guards at a crossing point between the Hashemite kingdom and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.