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Lawmakers push for abolishing peace treaty with Israel

By Khaled Neimat - Feb 25,2014 - Last updated at Feb 25,2014

AMMAN — The Lower House urged the government on Tuesday to take a firmer stand as the Israeli Knesset has scheduled a renewed debate over a proposal to strip Jordan from its status as the custodian of the holy shrines in Jerusalem.

In response, 47 MPs signed a petition Tuesday calling for drafting and submitting a new legislation to cancel the 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

They criticised the government for not taking a “strong and solid” stand against the Knesset’s attempts to revisit Jordan’s role as custodian of the Islamic and Christian shrines in Jerusalem, in a bid to bring the holy city under full Israeli control.

MP Khalil Attiyeh told the MPs that Knesset member Ahmad Tibi informed him that Israeli lawmakers are going to discuss this issue in their session Tuesday.

News agencies confirmed that the debate was scheduled for Tuesday evening, but no vote was expected.

Several other MPs expressed their support for this proposal, with the chairman of the House Palestine Committee Yihya Saud urging the government to also expel the Israeli ambassador in Amman and recall the Jordanian envoy in Tel Aviv.

Last week, the same proposal was submitted by Knesset member Moshe Feiglin, who is also head of the “Jewish Leadership” faction of Israel’s governing Likud Party. He opposes a two-state solution and advocates that Israel annex the West Bank and Gaza.

He calls for full Israeli sovereignty on Jerusalem, revoking all peace accords that Israel signed with its Arab neighbouring countries, including the Wadi Araba Peace Treaty between Jordan and Israel in 1994.

Senior officials said that the Israeli Knesset does not have the power to cancel Jordan’s role as custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem.

“Not one and not even 1,000 Knesset members can cancel the Hashemite custodianship of Islamic and Christian holy shrines in Jerusalem,” Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said last week.

 

‘High tension’ at Al Aqsa

 

Israeli occupation forces early Tuesday entered the sensitive Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City to “disperse stone-throwing Palestinian protesters”, a spokesman said, as quoted by Agence France-Presse.

The Israeli troops used stun grenades to disperse the Palestinians, Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, adding that there was “high tension” ahead of the discussions expected in the Israeli parliament of a plan to annex the site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

No vote is envisaged at the end of debate. Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu is opposed to the bill and commentators say it is unlikely to attract much support, AFP said.

The compound, or Al Haram Al Sharif, is Islam’s third-holiest site.

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