Jordan recalls ambassador from Israel

Published November 5th, 2014 - 01:09 GMT

The Jordanian government has instructed its ambassador in Tel Aviv to return home due to what Amman says is "unprecedented Israeli escalation in Jerusalem."

The move comes just hours after a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem rammed his vehicle into two light rail stations in the capital, killing a Border Police officer and injuring over a dozen others.

Earlier on Wednesday, police temporarily sealed off the Temple Mount to worshipers after clashes erupted with Palestinian stone-throwers who barricaded themselves with stockpiles of stones and firecrackers in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Jordan has in recent weeks been vocal in its concern over rising tensions in Jerusalem, particularly over what Arabs perceive to be threats to the status quo.

Last week, King Abdullah promised that Jordan would safeguard holy Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem, as a former senior official warned that aggressive Israeli actions will lead to a third intifada.

Jordan will “continue to confront, through all available means, Israeli unilateral policies and measures in Jerusalem and preserve its Muslim and Christian holy sites, until peace is restored to the land of peace,” said King Abdullah in a speech, Jordan News Agency – Petra reported.

“The Palestinian cause remains our principal cause and is a higher national interest,” said Abdullah.

The Jordanian monarch also vowed his country would continue “to mobilize international support to rebuild Gaza, following the vile Israeli aggression, which killed thousands of our brethren.”

The king linked preventing further “aggression” to a two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative.

He spoke in response to a surge of violence between Jewish and Arab residents of Jerusalem, in the wake of the attempted assassination on Wednesday night of rightwing activist Yehudah Glick.

In response to the violence, Israel closed the Temple Mount to all Muslim worshipers on Thursday, something it has not done in years.

Only Muslim women and male worshipers over 50 were admitted on Friday when it reopened. By Saturday all Muslims could access the site, and on Sunday Jewish and Christian visitors, who had been banned from the area for three days, were allowed to return.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the site would remain open to Muslim worshipers and that there were no plans to close it.

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