Report: Jordan MPs demand Israel envoy’s expulsion

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MPs in Jordan on Wednesday unanimously demanded the government expel Israeli Ambassador Daniel Nevo after detectives in Israel detained top Islamic cleric the mufti of Jerusalem, state media reported.

“The [150-member] lower house of parliament unanimously demanded the government ask the Israeli ambassador to leave Jordan, and recall the Jordanian ambassador in Israel,” Walid Obeidat, the official Petra news agency said.

The vote came in response to “"Israeli occupation measures at al-Aqsa mosque” in the Holy City.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour told the MPs that his government “views the Israeli violations in a very serious way.”

Ensour condemned these reports.

“The council of ministers this morning discussed allowing dozens of Jewish hardline settlers into the al-Aqsa compound and the detention of the mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein.

“Such attacks by extremist settlers... indicate planned and systematic ill intentions,” Petra cited him as saying.

“If things develop, the government will ask the U.N. Security Council to hold an emergency meeting.”

Israeli police detained Jerusalem’s most senior Muslim cleric on Wednesday, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported, after they stormed his home in southern Jerusalem.

Hussein was questioned at a police station for suspected involvement in a “disturbance” at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Holy City.

He was interrogated “on suspicion of involvement in a disturbance that took place yesterday [Tuesday] on Temple Mount,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement to the press.

The al-Aqsa mosque

Mohammed Qudah, Jordan’s Islamic affairs minister, said: “Israel has prevented worshippers from entering the mosque. It plans to build a bridge to link al-Aqsa to some nearby settlements.

“Israeli excavations around the mosque have noticeably increased. Around 62 synagogues have been built around al-Aqsa to form a circle around it,” Petra quoted him as saying.

Qudah added that “the most dangerous development was when hundreds of settlers backed by the Israel army entered al-Aqsa this morning.”

“At the same time waqf [Islamic affairs] officials were prevented from going to their work, while materials needed for maintenance of the mosque were not allowed,” he said.

The site, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosques, and is also venerated by Jews as the place where their two ancient temples once stood, the last of which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

Israel later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community.

Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.