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Jordan allocates $1.5m to rebuild Temple Mount

reprinted from Haaretz
24/09/2007

by Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent

Jordan will allocate 1.113 million Jordanian Dinars ($1.5 million dollars) to the Jordan Hashemite Fund for the Reconstruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, King Abdullah II announced Sunday during a meeting of the trustees of the new fund.

The king also instructed a bonus salary to be given to employees of the Waqf, as a gesture of thanks for their commitment and work.

The new fund will be headed by Prince Ghazi, a cousin of the king. At the opening session, Ghazi proposed that Jordan offer passports to 90,000 residents of East Jerusalem. Reports of the proposal were made on the Arab satellite news organization, Al-Arabiya, but were omitted from the official release on the fund's activities, reported on Petra, the kingdom's news agency.

The fund will pay for a new fire detection system that will be installed in the complex of mosques, as well as a modern fire suppression system.

In addition, the fund will acquire a fire truck that will be stationed near the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

A team in charge of preserving mosaics and antiquities will also undergo further training at the expense of the new fund.

Jordan's decision to intensify its role in the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex stems in part from the presence of other Arab interest groups that have made increasing inroads there. Among the more prominent elements is the Islamic Movement, northern wing, under the leadership of Sheikh Raed Salah.

Recently, Jordanian authorities prevented Salah from entering the kingdom.

Political sources in Jerusalem said Sunday that other Arab countries are also active in the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex. Other donors, including Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, contribute money and equipment. The donors said the Jordanian activity is welcome so long as it does not violate the status quo.

 

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