February 26, 2014
MPs call on cabinet to end ‘Israel’s schemes’ on Temple Mount; non-binding decision unlikely to be adopted
AMMAN — A majority of Jordanian MPs voted on Wednesday to seek the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador to the kingdom after the Jewish state’s parliament debated Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount, which houses the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Prominent lower house deputy Khalil Attieh told AFP that 86 out of 150 members of parliament voted to seek the expulsion of Israeli envoy Daniel Nevo.
The vote, which is not legally binding and unlikely to be approved by the government, came a day after 47 MPs, including Attieh, signed a motion demanding that the 1994 peace treaty with Israel be annulled.
“All deputies who attended a meeting today to discuss Israel’s debate on sovereignty over Al-Aqsa voted to kick out the Israeli envoy and recall the Jordanian ambassador in Israel (Walid Obeidat),” Attieh said.
The Knesset Tuesday evening began a debate called by right-wing MKs to demand that Israel end its practice of forbidding Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount.
In a motion which was not put to a vote, Likud MK Moshe Feiglin said Israel’s fear of igniting Muslim rage amounted to discrimination against Jews.
“This was in protest at the Knesset debate. It is up to the government to act on the vote. If it does not, we will consider a no-confidence motion,” Attieh said.
State-run Petra news agency said the Jordanian MPs “demanded the government take immediate action to stop Israel’s schemes.”
Under the peace treaty, Jordan is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.
“Israel’s actions clearly violate the peace treaty… it is aggression against Jordanian custodianship,” Tuesday’s motion said.
The Jordanian government has so far not commented.
But Jordan’s opposition Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, urged the government on Tuesday to freeze the peace deal.
“The custodianship is a Jordanian national interest and a sacred religious duty,” said the IAF, the main opposition party.
The 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Wednesday also condemned as a “dangerous escalation” the Knesset debate on allowing Jewish prayer.
OIC Secretary General Iyad Madani described the move as “a dangerous and unprecedented step that comes as part of Israel’s racist policy … aiming to Judaize Jerusalem.”
Urging world action against Israel, Madani warned that “this dangerous escalation provokes the feelings of the whole Muslim nation.”
OIC chief Madani insisted that Al-Aqsa is a “red line,” warning that “such acts not only threaten the peace process but security and stability in the whole region.”
Israeli police on Tuesday clashed with stone-throwing Palestinian protesters at the compound ahead of the Knesset debate.
The Al-Aqsa compound, which lies in Jerusalem’s Old City, is a flashpoint because of its significance to both Muslims and Jews.
Sitting above the Western Wall plaza, it houses the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques and is Islam’s third-holiest site.
It is also Judaism’s holiest place, being the site of the first and second Jewish temples.