JERUSALEM CRISIS HEATS UP: Jordan king warns Israel against Al Aqsa ‘provocation’ – The National World

by Newsstand

OCCUPIED Jerusalem – Israeli security forces entered the Al Aqsa compound on Monday for a second straight day, sparking a stern warning from Jordan’s king.

“Any more provocation in Jerusalem will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel” which have a 1994 peace accord, said King Abdullah II after talks with visiting British prime minister David Cameron.

“Jordan will not have a choice but to take actions,” he said on the second day of clashes between Muslims and Israeli police as Jews celebrated their new year and protesters vowed to protect Islam’s third-holiest site.

Israeli police fired stun grenades while hitting and kicking demonstrators and journalists as they sought to push back crowds.

They arrested five demonstrators in the compound on Monday and visits went ahead as planned.

Four others were arrested in skirmishes between security forces and protesters in the surrounding alleys of Jerusalem’s Old City.

“Israel is playing with fire,” Palestine Liberation Organisation senior official Hanan Ashrawi said on Monday.

“Clearly, Israel is deliberately creating and escalating a situation of instability, insecurity and violence, thereby incrementally assuring by force its power/security control in preparation for the total annexation and transformation of Al-Haram Al-Sharif.”

Muslims refer to the entire compound as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, while Jews venerate it as the Temple Mount.

Muslim protesters fear Israel will seek to change rules governing the site, with far-right Jewish groups pushing for more access to the compound and efforts by fringe organisations to erect a new temple.

Israel seized east Jerusalem, taking it over from Jordanian administration, in the Six Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

Jordan has custodian rights over the Al Aqsa mosque compound.

The kingdom – the only Arab state with Egypt to have a peace treaty with Israel – recalled its Tel Aviv ambassador in November after similar clashes, returning him to his post three months later.

Amid the heightened tensions in Jerusalem, police said on Monday that an Israeli died after attackers pelted his car with rocks in Jerusalem.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the man was injured as he was driving home from a meal marking the Jewish new year and later died of his injuries.

Mr Netanyahu has called an “emergency meeting” of members of his cabinet to discuss ways to curb stone-throwing and petrol bombs following a number of recent incidents.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday night following the end of the Jewish new year holiday, a government official said.

Jordan king warns Israel against Al Aqsa ‘provocation’