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King reaffirms Jordan’s support of Jerusalemites’ steadfastness against Israeli violations

By JT - Nov 04,2015 - Last updated at Nov 04,2015

His Majesty King Abdullah meets with representatives of the Jerusalem Awqaf Department, clerics, and Muslim and Christian Jerusalemites in Amman on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday stressed Jordan's support for Jerusalemites and their steadfastness against any Israeli violations targeting Al Haram Al Sharif/Al Aqsa Mosque. 

Receiving a delegation comprising representatives of the Jerusalem Awqaf Department, clerics, and Muslim and Christian Jerusalemites, the King voiced pride in hosting them in Amman and urged them to convey his greetings to the people of Jerusalem. 

His Majesty expressed his understanding of the challenges Jerusalemites have been facing for some time now and not just over the last few months. 

"For the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and for me personally, our role is to protect Islamic and Christian sites in the holy city, at the various political and religious levels, and we have full coordination and support for you," the King told the delegates, who included academic and religious figures from Jerusalem. 

The Monarch referred to the statements he has made during his recent meetings with different international and regional figures, according to a Royal Court statement. 

King Abdullah asserted that Jordan stands firm and rejects any changes to the historic status quo at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, which extends over an area of 144 dunums, stressing Jordan’s fixed position which has always asserted the need to retain the status quo that prevailed prior to the Israeli occupation of the city in 1967. 

His Majesty reiterated that Jordan has the right to pursue the available diplomatic and legal options, noting that the Kingdom will follow what is happening on the ground and see how much the Israeli prime minister is committed to what the two sides agreed on.

“Jordan is in contact with Western countries, and they are ready to work with us,” the King noted. 

Referring to the installation of surveillance cameras to monitor the situation at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, and to make sure that no Israeli violations are committed, King Abdullah said each time a Jordanian position is declared, there are sceptics. 

He asserted that the surveillance camera project is a Jordanian initiative that will be carried out by the Awqaf Ministry, in cooperation with “our Palestinian brothers” on the ground.

The cameras will be installed to provide monitoring of the entire area of Al Haram Al Sharif, the King said.

“To be clear with you, there will be no surveillance cameras inside the mosque, but the issue requires — according to experts — a period extending to six weeks. It is better to have the surveillance system operating in full to cover the entire area,” he elaborated. 

The King stressed his openness to any advice from the visiting Jerusalemites, regarding challenges they are facing and on diplomatic and legal options. 

“At the same time, we are considering how to bring the two parties, the Palestinians and the Israelis, back to the negotiating table to arrive at a final solution for the Palestinian issue,” he told the Jerusalemites.

The delegates expressed their appreciation of His Majesty’s efforts to support the Palestinian cause and Palestinians’ rights, and to defend Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian sites.

Sheikh Abdul Azim Salhab, who heads the Jerusalem Awqaf Council, stressed Jerusalemites’ confidence in the King’s commitment to safeguard the city’s religious and historic heritage. 

“We are sure that Your Majesty is fully aware of the situation of Al Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem in terms of Israeli attempts to change the status quo, obliterate the facts and falsify history, “ Salhab said, noting that the King’s efforts to preserve this heritage strengthen their steadfastness at Al Haram Al Sharif and the holy city. 

He commended the King’s support and his emphasis that Al Aqsa Mosque is a red line and its division is not acceptable.  

Noting that everybody holds the Hashemite custodianship in high esteem and highlighting its importance to protect Islamic and Christian sites in Jerusalem, Salhab stressed that Jerusalemites do not accept any attempts to undermine Jordan’s efforts in this regard. 

“Under no pretext do we accept that this blessed custodianship be taken out of its context,” he said.

Delegates spoke about the suffering and the pressures that Al Aqsa Mosque guards face, reiterating their appreciation of the King’s efforts. 

They also highlighted the restrictions imposed on building schools, noting that the dropout rate at Jerusalem’s schools has reached around 40 per cent, because of the prevailing conditions, whereas it is no more than 2 per cent in other Palestinian cities.   

They stressed the importance of Jordan’s positions, led by His Majesty, in defending Jerusalem, noting that they have an impact on the Israeli community.  Speaking to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, following the meeting, Awqaf Minister Hayel Dawood said the Council of Ministers has taken some decisions to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem and to mitigate their suffering, citing the improvement in the pensions of Jerusalem Awqaf Department employees. 


He also referred to the Awqaf Ministry’s decision to offer 10 scholarships for Jerusalemite students at Al Quds University.


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