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Arab League praises King’s efforts to protect Jerusalem

By JT - Jul 18,2017 - Last updated at Jul 18,2017

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian youth during a demonstration outside the Lions Gate, a main entrance to Al Aqsa Mosque compound, due to newly implemented measures by Israeli authorities which include metal detectors and cameras, in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday (AFP photo)

AMMAN — During an emergency meeting on Monday, held upon the request of Palestine, the Council of the Arab League praised His Majesty King Abdullah’s efforts to protect the holy places in Jerusalem as their custodian.  

The league’s permanent representatives stressed solidarity of the Arab and Islamic nation in the defence of the sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif and Arab Jerusalem as the capital of the independent state of Palestine, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.  

The council also stressed its rejection of any alteration to the status quo in Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque. They also highlighted the need to stop all Israeli measures and restore the status quo, including the removal of electronic gates, in addition to respecting the freedom of worship.

The council again called on the international community and its organisations to shoulder their responsibilities and stop Israeli provocative acts, to enforce relevant resolutions, preserve the status quo of the Islamic and Christian shrines and protect the Palestinian people in their lands and holy sites.

In a related development, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Monday warned of the consequences of continued tension and escalation in Al Aqsa Mosque and stressed the need to work immediately to restore calm to it and to respect the legal and historical situation in its holy places.

Safadi stressed that Israel should open the mosque completely and immediately, Petra reported.

He pointed out the continued and intensive Jordanian efforts led by King Abdullah to reopen Al Aqsa Mosque and stop the escalation, thus defusing a crisis that would be difficult to control if the escalation continues.  

During a meeting with a Japanese parliamentary delegation, the minister stressed the need to revive the peace process through serious and effective negotiations that should lead to progress in efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of a two-state solution, which, he said, is the only way to achieve security and stability.

He said that the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital alongside Israel would bring peace to the region and contribute significantly to defeating extremism and terrorism. 

For their part, the delegation stressed the importance of developing relations with the Kingdom and their appreciation for the role it has in maintaining security and stability.

Alo on Monday, Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh met separately with the Japanese delegates, according to Petra. He stressed that the Israeli decision to close Al Aqsa mosque/ Al Haram Al Sharif following a shootout between Palestinian gunmen and occupation forces at the compound, in addition to other provocation acts, “is undermining peace efforts, and invites further violence. ‘‘


Tarawneh highlighted the importance of finding a solution to the Palestinian issue and establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital; stressing that the world will suffer further violence and terrorism without solving this issue.

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