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Jordan warns Israeli PM of diplomatic pitfalls if al-Aqsa status quo changed

Jordan has warned that bilateral ties with Israel will suffer if the incoming ruling coalition tries to change al-Aqsa Mosque status quo.

The warning, reported by an Israeli public broadcaster, underlined the potential diplomatic pitfalls awaiting Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu who plans to form a cabinet with far-right hardliners.

“Any attempt to change the status quo on the Temple Mount will definitely harm ties between Jordan and Israel,” the broadcaster quoted an unnamed Jordanian source, referring to al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The source took specific aim at Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the extremist Otzma Yehudit party and a crucial partner in the ruling coalition, who has made a point of touring the site during times of increased tensions.

Gvir and others in his party are longtime and well-known advocates of unlawful Jewish prayer rights at al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jordanian source warned that visits by Gvir and his other “provocations” would be a whole different story if he does so as a minister.

Backed by Israeli police, Jewish settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque compound again

Jordan’s ruling Hashemite family has been the sole custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in East al-Quds, including al-Aqsa Mosque, since 1924.

Under the mosque status quo, only Muslims are allowed to worship within the compound while non-Muslims may visit the site, but are not allowed to pray there.

Al-Quds-based Islamic Waqf has repeatedly denounced the tours of Israeli settlers to al-Aqsa Mosque as “provocative”, claiming that Palestinian worshipers and guards at the mosque feel insecure in the presence of trigger-happy Israeli troops and settlers.

Last May, frequent acts of violence against Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war between Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip and Israel, during which the regime killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.

Israel set for most extremist regime in its history

Netanyahu who served as prime minister from 2009 to 2021, has won elections despite standing charges of corruption and political dysfunction. Netanyahu and his right-wing allies are about to form the most extremist regime in the history of Israel.

During Netanyahu’s term as prime minister, ties with Amman hit a low point.

Last year, Jordan refused to give Netanyahu permission to overfly the country for a diplomatic visit in retaliation after Jordan’s crown prince was unable to visit al-Aqsa Mosque.

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