Jordan: Harming Islamic Sites is Like 'Declaration of War'

Published June 29th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Jordanian Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs warned Israel on Thursday that any attempt to harm Al-Aqsa Mosque would be considered a "declaration of war". 

"We warn against any attempt to harm or cause changes to the esplanade of the mosques which will be considered an Israeli declaration of religious war," said a statement by the committee secretary-general Abdullah Kanaan. 

"Such a war could set ablaze the region and even ignite a world war," the Amman-based committee said. 

Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem remained under Jordanian supervision after 1967, when Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank. 

The committee accused Israel of hampering pavement restoration work underway at the Al-Aqsa compound, and charged that right-wing Jewish extremists had recently set up an Internet site "encouraging opposition to the renovation work". 

Violent scuffles between Palestinians, Jewish radicals and Israeli police broke out Wednesday in Jerusalem when the radicals tried to enter the mosque compound. 

Witnesses and Palestinian officials said 21 people were hurt in the confrontations, including Al-Aqsa mosque director Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, who was hit by a rifle-butt. 

Jews also consider the esplanade around the Al-Aqsa mosque holy as the site of their last temple destroyed in 70 AD, have accused the Arab officials in charge of the Islamic sites of carrying out expansion work - AMMAN (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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