World Bulletin/News Desk
Increasing strife over Jerusalem's most volatile holy site plunged relations between Israel and Jordan into crisis on Wednesday, with Amman recalling its ambassador for the first time since the countries' 1994 peace treaty.
Palestinian officials said Israeli forces had crossed the threshold of the mosque for the first time since 1967.
Speaking in Paris as he prepared to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said Amman withdrew its ambassador because of the situation at the al-Aqsa mosque compound.
He accused the Israelis of violations and incursions, stopping people from worshipping freely and allowing extremists to enter. "These violations are infuriating" to Muslims worldwide, he said.
The Arab kingdom's official Petra news agency said Jordan would lodge a complaint with the U.N. Security Council over Israeli actions in the city and at the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, housing the al-Aqsa mosque and golden Dome of the Rock shrine.
Jordanian Minister of Islamic Affairs Hayel Dawood has also warned that recent Israeli "violations" in East Jerusalem threatened to harm relations with the Hashemite kingdom.
"Relations between countries are based on interests, mutual respect and a commitment to law and international treaties," Dawood told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
"Relations will suffer due to Israel's disrespect for the  Jordan-Israel peace agreement," he warned.
"Jordan considers [oversight of] the Al-Aqsa Mosque a major responsibility," Dawood said, calling on Arab and Muslim countries to join hands to protect the iconic house of worship.
At a ceremony on Oct. 26 recognising the milestone, Jordanian Ambassador Walid Obeidat sounded a cautionary note over a campaign by Israeli ultranationalists to lift a de facto ban by Israel on Jewish prayer at the sacred compound.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has issued public assurances that he would keep existing arrangements for Muslim prayer in place at the compound. The site has been run by Jordanian religious authorities before and after Israel's capture of East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war.
But the push for change by several far-right Israeli lawmakers and settler activists has enraged Palestinians and drawn denunciation from their leaders.
At least 14 Palestinians suffered temporary asphyxiation on Wednesday after Israeli forces used teargas to break up a demonstration in East Jerusalem.
Clashes broke out between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces in the city's Shuafat neighborhood, the birthplace of a Palestinian driver who ran over several Israeli pedestrians in Jerusalem on Wednesday, leaving an Israeli police officer dead.
Tension had already been running high in occupied East Jerusalem since Jewish settlers kidnapped and killed a Palestinian boy from Shuafat in early July.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in April and since then Israel has announced plans to expand settlements in occupied territory where Palestinians seek statehood, with East Jerusalem as their capital.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
Last Mod: 06 Kasım 2014, 00:12