Jordan says step taken in protest of Israeli ‘violations’ in Jerusalem, also plans to lodge official complaint with UN Security Council; Israel FM spokesman says Jordan’s decision does not help ease tensions in Jerusalem.
Jordan on Wednesday recalled its ambassador to Israel in protest against what it described as Israeli “violations” in Jerusalem and its holy sites, the Jordanian state news agency reported.The decision to recall Walid Obeidat was taken “in protest at the increasing and unprecedented Israeli escalation in the Noble Sanctuary, and the repeated Israeli violations of Jerusalem”, the news agency said.
At a joint press conference held in Paris with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judah said his country’s recall of its ambassador to Israel was “an indication of seriousness of situation… We have sent repeated messages to Israel… .that Jerusalem is a red line.”
Also, Jordan’s Minister of Information, Mohammed al-Momani said: “It is impossible to keep quiet about what happened today. Approximately 200 members of Israel’s security forces broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque, chased worshippers, caused damage and broke doors. It’s impossible to remain silent about this, so therefore we have announced the return of our ambassador in Israel for consultations.”
“We are a country that fulfils our obligations, and we will not allow other countries to renege on their obligations,” al-Momani said, “We will not agree to have our historic role over the Al-Aqsa Compound compromised. All diplomatic options are available to us, including articles of our peace agreement with Israel.”
Jordan will additionally lodge a formal complaint with the UN Security Council over Israel’s actions in Jerusalem.
On Wednesday, tensions grew to new heights after one person was killed and at least 13 people were wounded after a Palestinian plowed into a crowd near East Jerusalem.
In an additional incident on Wednesday, one Palestinian was seriously wounded by a sponge-tipped bullet fired by Israeli security forces at the Temple Mount.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said in response, “We regret the Jordanian decision, which does not contribute to the easing of tensions, but the opposite, and expect Jordan to condemn the violence initiated from Ramallah and the murder of innocents that was caused by it.”
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah II reportedly held a secret meeting in Amman amid tensions in Jerusalem.
According to a report published Monday in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida, an urgent meeting was called for the leaders to discuss the escalation in violence in East Jerusalem and tensions surrounding the Temple Mount.
Jordan and Israel signed their peace agreement in 1994.