Continuing on a recent theme of blaming Israel for unrest on the Temple Mount, Jordan's King Abdullah said Monday that his country would “prevent any threat” to “the holiness” of the city, and “reject any threat to the Arab character of this holy city.”
Abdullah was speaking at the new session of the United Nations General Assembly Monday.
Rioting in Jerusalem which broke out several weeks ago – on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and has continued since then – is the fault of Israel, Abdullah has reiterated several times in recent weeks. Last week, Jordanian Information Minister Mohammed Momani said that his government condemns the assault carried out by special forces of the Israeli occupation army against the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. He accused Israel of "provocations" and "attempts to change the status quo" at Judaism's holiest site.
Abdullah has also condemned the entry of Jews to the Temple Mount, saying that there was no need for them to visit the site, as they had the Kotel as their holy place. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, the site where the two Holy Temples stood for nearly 1,000 years.
In response, Israel has accused Jordan of exacerbating tensions on the Temple Mount. Last week, Abdullah met with a group of Israeli Arab MKs Sunday and told them that Jews had no right to pray on the Mount.
According to Channel Two, Israel told Abdullah that the Waqf, which ostensibly answers to the King of Jordan, had allowed armed terrorists to sleep in the Al Aqsa mosque on the Mount. The group remains in the mosque to participate in riots on the Mount, and to occasionally attack Jews praying at the Kotel (Western Wall). If this continues, Israel warned, it would damage the relationship between the two countries.
In his UN remarks, Abdullah said that “Jerusalem is holy and it has important holy sites for Islam and Christianity. We reject any threat to these sites and to the Arab character of this holy city.”
Abdullah also discussed the threat of the Islamic State to his country, calling the fight against ISIS “the Third World War.”
ISIS, he said, is “attempting to stamp out” mercy and hope among Muslims. “The outlaws of Islam that operate globally today,” he said. “When and how did fear and intimidation creep so insidiously into our conversation when there is so much more to be said about the love of God?”