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Jordan condemns Israeli court’s decision to shut Bab Al Rahmah

'Al Aqsa not under jurisdiction of Israeli judiciary'

By JT - Mar 17,2019 - Last updated at Mar 18,2019

Palestinian Muslim worshippers pray at the premises of Bab Al Rahmah (Gate of Mercy), inside Al Aqsa Mosque complex in the Old City of Jerusalem, on Sunday (AFP photo)

AMMAN — Jordan on Sunday expressed its rejection and condemnation of an Israeli court decision to close the building of Bab Al Rahmah (Gate of Mercy) at Al Aqsa Mosque. 

The Foreign Ministry, in a statement sent to The Jordan Times, stressed that East Jerusalem, including Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, is part of the Palestinian territories that were occupied in 1967 as stipulated in by international law and international legitimacy resolutions and, therefore, is not under the jurisdiction of the Israeli judiciary.

The ministry reiterated that Bab Al Rahmah is an integral part of Al Aqsa Mosque with its total area of 144 dunums, and that the Jerusalem Awqaf Department is the exclusive authority under international law to administrate all the affairs of Al Aqsa Mosque.

Also on Sunday, the Cabinet voiced Jordan's rejection and condemnation of the Israeli court decision, stressing that Bab Al Rahmah is an integral part of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, on which Israeli courts have no jurisdiction, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The ministry also called on Israel to cancel the decision and held it fully accountable for its dangerous repercussions and for the safety of the mosque, rejecting any attempts to change the historical and legal status quo of the holy site. 

An Israeli court on Sunday ordered the temporary closure of the side building at the highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site that has been the source of tensions in recent weeks, AFP news agency said.

The Jerusalem magistrates court said the building should be closed while the case continues, according to AFP.

The Awqaf Ministry-affiliated Jerusalem Awqaf Department was given 60 days to respond to the court case involving the building.

Israeli authorities have called for the building to be closed, AFP added.

Recent weeks have seen scuffles over Bab Al Rahmah.

Palestinian worshippers have been entering the site despite an Israeli order that it should stay closed.

Israel shut off access to Bab Al Rahmah in 2003 during the second Palestinian Intifada over alleged “militant activity” there.

Palestinian officials argue that the organisation that prompted the ban no longer exists and there is no reason for it to remain closed.

Jerusalem Awqaf spokesman Firas Dibs said it did not intend to abide by the court’s decision, adding that the building remained open on Sunday, according to AFP.

The department said in a statement on Saturday that it wants to carry out renovations at the building, but keep it open during that time for Palestinians who wish to pray there.

It said that far-right Israelis were seeking to take over the side building, but Israeli authorities say they are committed to enforcing the current rules in place at the site that prevent such moves, AFP said.

Meanwhile, the Lower House decided to hold an emergency session on Monday to discuss the “attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque”, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

 

The Jerusalem Awqaf Department has the sole authority to manage the affairs of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif.

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