Jordanian Watchdog Urges Israel to Rein in Jewish Extremists or Face War

Published July 5th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Jordan's watchdog committee on Jerusalem is warning of the outbreak of a holy war unless Israel reins in Jewish extremists who are determined to Judaize the bitterly contested city. 

The warning by Amman's Royal Commission for Jerusalem Affairs was triggered by an attempt last week by right-wing Jewish extremists to enter by force the Haram al-Sharif, the compound that is home to Islam's third holiest site. 

The tension was heightened when Israel's attorney general Elyakim Rubinstein disclaimed the terms of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 -- which call on Israel to pull out of territory it occupied in June 1967. 

Arab east Jerusalem lies in that territory and is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock. 

Jews, meanwhile, revere the same site as the location of their last temple, destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. 

In an interview with AFP, the secretary general of the commission, a semi-official Jordanian body set up to monitor Israeli violations in Jerusalem, said out loud what many Arabs repeat daily. 

"Jerusalem is important for more than one billion Muslims worldwide and Jewish extremists should not think that their attempts to gain a foothold in the Haram al-Sharif will be met only with protests," Abdullah Kanaan said. 

"It will lead to a declaration of jihad (holy war) all over the Muslim world and if governments do not declare the jihad, the people will," he warned. 

"I urge the Israeli authorities and all the advocates of peace to take these words into consideration before the worst comes," Kanaan said. 

Al-Aqsa Mosque director Sheikh Mohammad Hussein was among more than 20 people hurt in last week's confrontations between Palestinians, Israeli police and Jewish radicals. 

The extremists accuse the Muslims of carrying out expansion work at the compound, where pavement restoration work is underway - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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