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Jordanians express outrage over Al Aqsa closure

By Suzanna Goussous - Jul 16,2017 - Last updated at Jul 16,2017

Jordanians protest against the closing of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif and preventing people from holding Friday prayers in it in Amman on Saturday (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Activists and political parties on Saturday expressed outrage over the Israeli decision to close Al Haram Al Sharif compound in occupied Jerusalem until Sunday, banning Arabs and Muslims from entering the mosque and performing prayers.

Three Palestinians from the Arab town of Umm Al Fahm, located within the 1948 Palestine, were shot dead by Israeli forces after they carried out a shooting at the compound, which contains Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, on Friday morning, killing two Israeli soldiers. 

Israeli authorities announced the complete closure of the compound and banned Muslims and Arabs from entering it.

Jerusalem has not witnessed such tensions for half a century, with the last complete closure of Al Haram Al Sharif taking place in 1969.

One of the young shooters posted a photo before the incident on his Facebook profile with the caption: “Tomorrow will be better.” 

The three gunmen have been named as Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Jabareen, 29, Mohammed Hamed Abd Al Latif Jabareen, 19, and Mohammed Ahmed Mafdal Jabareen, also 19.

Minister for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani on Friday condemned the attack on Palestinians and the closure of the mosque.

Jordan called for the reopening of the mosque, stressing that the Jordanian government will continue to employ its diplomatic, legal and political tools to deal with any attempts to change the legal and historical situation in Jerusalem, Momani said.

Jordanian MP Kais Zayadin, rapporteur of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, wrote a post on social media calling on the international community to set punishments for Israel, as it has “executed unarmed Palestinian citizens, without a trial”.

He added: “This terrorist act violates all international legislations and conventions. All those who claim to promote democracy and human rights must act upon it immediately,” he wrote, adding that “the shooting violates the sanctity of the dead”.

One Jerusalemite said on his social media account: “Before criticising the shooting, people living outside of Palestine should look at the bigger picture and think why Israelis are still living in Palestine and attacking Al Aqsa Mosque on a daily basis.”

Journalist Adel Yaseen posted on his Facebook account that the shooting reveals several dynamics at play in the current phase of the Palestinian struggle. 

“It indicates that Palestinians will not give up on their right to exist and their Arab-Palestinian identity, in addition to the fact that the shooters are young, which shows that the new generation rejects the occupation and any form of Israeli aggression on Palestinian lands.”

Professor Omar Abdelkafi wrote: “How did Arab countries react to this? Al Aqsa Mosque is closed for the first time since 1969 and no one responds to the decision.”

Jordan Engineers Association said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times that the closure of the mosque is a “terrorist act” that contradicts international laws and regulations, showing Israel’s “disrespect” towards Muslims.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation also issued a statement on Saturday condemning the closure of the mosque. 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the shooting in a phone interview with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the official Palestinian News Agency, Wafa. 

Israeli forces have detained more than 58 workers and guards from Al Aqsa Mosque, according to Palestinian media outlets, which reported that Israeli forces have also “vandalised” public facilities of the mosque after the death of the two soldiers.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Movement in Jordan has organised demonstrations and vigils against the “crime” of closing Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif and preventing people from holding Friday prayers in it, according to a statement by the organisers. 

The main demonstration started out in the centre of Amman, where hundreds of Jordanians came to express their solidarity with the Palestinians. 

Former leader of the Islamic Action Front Hamzah Mansour said: “The enemy would not have dared to do this if some Arab leaders did not call the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, and stated that Jews have ‘a permanent right in Palestine’.” 


He added that holy sites would never have been violated like this if many Arab leaders did not consider Tel Aviv as their “gateway” to the White House.  

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