AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday asserted Jordan’s rejection of Israel’s “repeated attempts to Judaise the history and heritage of the Holy City of Jerusalem” as well as its attacks and statements on Al Aqsa Mosque”.
During a meeting with several Jerusalemites, the King said the Israeli actions “have no grounds and they incite violence and foment religious conflict”, according to a Royal Court statement.
The King said Jordan will pursue its role in safeguarding and caring for the holy sites in Jerusalem, supporting its people and confronting unilateral Israeli measures that seek to alter the Arab identity of the city.
His Majesty cautioned against the repercussions of Israeli attacks on the holy sites, stressing the need for continued efforts to take a firmer and a more efficient Islamic and international position in confronting these acts of aggression.
“We will not spare any effort in order to safeguard and maintain the Islamic and the Christian holy sites and we will support the steadfastness of the people of Jerusalem… who are the real support for Jerusalem’s mosques and churches.”
At the same time, Israel’s continued measures to force Arab Muslim and Christian residents to emigrate from the holy city are not acceptable, the King pointed out during the meeting, which included an iftar banquet.
At the meeting, the representatives of Muslim and Christian Jerusalemites expressed their appreciation of Jordan’s position on the Palestinian cause and the King’s support for the holy sites and the people of Jerusalem, as well as the Hashemites’ continued efforts to preserve Al Aqsa holy mosque.
They also thanked King Abdullah for upgrading the awqaf department in Jerusalem into a general directorate and for increasing the monthly makruma for its employees.
In statements to Jordan Television, Sheikh Abdul Azim Salhab, president of the Council of the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, warned that the Holy City of Jerusalem is going through difficult times because of a vicious Israeli strike targeting the very existence of Jerusalemites and seeking to Judaise their city.
Salhab said acts of aggression by Israeli extremists and settlers are increasing, accompanied with strange statements by Knesset members and the occupation government calling on Jews to pray in Al Aqsa Mosque.
He noted that Jerusalem is an occupied city and all international laws and conventions oppose Israel’s attempts to annex the city and seize control of Al Aqsa Mosque.
Salhab and Munib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation, commended Jordan’s efforts in safeguarding the holy Islamic and Christian sites.
Younan said Christian sites in Jerusalem are at the very heart of Jordan’s concern, emphasising the historic role of the Hashemites in this regard.