Temple Mount
Temple MountNetanel Malkhutia/TPS

The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday published a statement condemning the visits by Jews to the Temple Mount during Passover, calling them "the frequent invasions of Al-Aqsa Mosque" which are carried out "under heavy security by the Israeli occupation police in a manner that constitutes a violation of the historical and legal situation existing at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and a violation of the sanctity of the holy places".

Sinan al-Majali, a spokesperson for the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, said that the entire area of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which includes 144 dunams (meaning the entire area of the Temple Mount) is a place of worship exclusively for Muslims.

Muslim clerics claim that the entire area of Al-Aqsa Mosque also includes the Western Wall and belongs exclusively to Muslims. They also completely deny the fact of the past existence of the Holy Temple on the Temple Mount.

Al-Majali declared in his statement that the Jordanian Department of Endowments is the only entity that is authorized to manage the affairs of Al-Aqsa Mosque and regulate the visit to the place.

He blamed the Israeli government for the escalation in Jerusalem and "in all the occupied Palestinian territories and for the deterioration that will get worse if Israel does not stop invading Al-Aqsa and the heavy hand on the worshipers on these blessed days."

Al-Majali also said that Israel, being an “occupying country”, must comply with its obligations according to international law, and in particular the international humanitarian law regarding Jerusalem and the holy places, and in particular Al-Aqsa Mosque, to avoid any measures that harm the sanctity of the holy places, to cease measures that change the existing historical and legal situation and which infringe on the powers of the Jordanian Endowments Department.

Meanwhile, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesman for Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said that "the ongoing Israeli provocation against the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque is wrong, and it will turn its compound into a war zone, which will lead to a serious deterioration of the situation."

Abu Rudeineh accused Israel of committing "crimes" and of "desecrating the holy places", emphasizing that the Palestinian Arab people will continue to stand firm and protect the holy places "at all costs".