Jordanian MPs call for expulsion of Israeli envoy over al-Aqsa dispute

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Jordanian lawmakers on Monday sought to expel the Israeli ambassador from the kingdom in response to “ongoing Israeli aggression” at holy sites in Jerusalem.

Amman is the official custodian of Jerusalem’s holy Muslim sites. The parliamentary session followed an Israeli court ruling on the al-Aqsa mosque compound.

“The parliament recommended the government recall the Jordanian ambassador from Israel and expel the Israeli ambassador from Amman to confront the ongoing Israeli aggression at holy sites in occupied Jerusalem,” reported the official Petra news agency.

Lawmakers also called on the government to address the UN Security Council about “stopping Israeli violations and protecting the Palestinian people.”

Jordan is the only Arab country apart from Egypt to have a peace deal with Israel. But the treaty is overwhelmingly opposed by Jordanians, more than half of whom are of Palestinian origin.

On Sunday, an Israeli court ordered the temporary closure of a side building known as the Golden Gate at the al-Aqsa mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Jordan condemned the court ruling, with its foreign ministry saying that Israel would bear “full responsibility for the dangerous consequences” of the decision.

There have in recent weeks been scuffles between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli police at the site over the use of the side building.

Palestinian worshippers have been entering the site and praying there despite an Israeli order that it should stay closed.

Israel shut access to the site known as Bab al-Rahma (Gate of Mercy or Golden Gate) at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in 2003 during the second Palestinian intifada over alleged militant activity there.

Palestinian officials argue that the organization that prompted the ban no longer exists and there is no reason for it to remain closed.

Al-Aqsa is located in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed in a move never recognized by the international community.

Israel sees the entire city as its capital, while the Palestinians view the eastern sector - where key holy sites for Christians, Muslims and Jews are located - as the capital of their future state.

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