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Jordan urges end to Israeli meddling in Umayyad Palaces

By JT - Feb 06,2016 - Last updated at Feb 06,2016

AMMAN — Jordan on Saturday reiterated its denunciation of Israel's continued violations against the Umayyad Palaces, southwest of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif.

Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani urged Israel not to meddle with the Umayyad Palaces area and to ensure its return under the jurisdiction of the Jordanian Jerusalem Awqaf Department, which is the entity responsible for administering and safeguarding the site, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Israeli occupation forces have recently settled internal differences among followers of different Jewish sects at the expense of the area of the Umayyad Palaces, Petra said.

Israeli occupation forces had decided to expand a platform to allow more Jewish worshippers into the area.

The violation against the Umayyad Palaces is the latest in a long series of assaults and violations against the site, Petra said, adding that occupation forces have carried out several excavation works there, destroying Arab and Islamic heritage.

They have also stolen and moved many pieces of Islamic antiquities out of the site of the Umayyad Palaces, according to the agency.

Israeli forces put up signs with the names of different places written on them in Hebrew to be used as visitor guides and gave permission for Jewish religious ceremonies to be held at the site.

Last Thursday, Petra reported that Jerusalem Awqaf Department Director Azzam Khatib Tamimi a letter of protest sent to the occupation force chief in Jerusalem condemning Israel’s violations against the Umayyad Palaces area.

Israel, as an occupation force, is legally bound to preserve the status quo before 1967 and honour the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty, Tamimi said in the letter, demanding that the occupation authorities halt excavations and end the destruction of Arab and Islamic heritage sites. 

He called for removing a makeshift metal roof set up in the centre of the Umayyad Palaces site.

Tamimi also demanded the removal of metal and wooden platforms set up to expand the yards designated for Jewish prayers next to Al Aqsa Mosque’s Western Wall. 

 

Tamimi, whose team is affiliated with the Awqaf Ministry, stressed the Hashemite custodianship Al Aqsa Mosque, urging Israel to respect everything related to Al Haram Al Sharif, Islam’s third-holiest shrine.

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