The Jordanian Waqf has begun renovations of the Sidna Omar Mosque adjacent to the Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
The works include renovation of the interior spaces, restoration of the outer walls as well as stone works.
In about two weeks, the mosque, also known as the "Jewish Mosque," which has been closed for decades, will open to the Muslim worshipers.
The Waqf has already appointed Sheikh Aassem Jodeh to be the mosque’s Imam.
Jodeh told TPS that “the renovation of the mosque is coordinated with the Waqf administration in Jordan, and with Israeli officials and the representatives of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Jerusalem Police. The coordination is overseen by Sheikh Yasser Abu Ghazallah, who is responsible for the Waqf’s mosque reconstruction project in the Old City."
Officials have told TPS that the Kingdom of Jordan is concerned by actions undertaken by the Turkish government in eastern Jerusalem, including the renovation of mosques and support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Jordan has increased its activity in the Holy City in response.
The Waqf has stated that it does not intent to install a speaker system on the mosque’s minaret, due to its proximity to the Hurva Synagogue. However, Jewish residents and worshipers have heard prayers coming from the mosque in recent days and have expressed fear that the proximity of the mosque to several historic and active synagogues will increase religious tension in the Old City.
There are 30 mosques in the Old City complex, along with hundreds of other prayer houses, all under Jordanian control. Jordan intends to renovate more Muslim sites in the Old City, with the help of the Al Quds Committee, which is sponsored by the King of Morocco, including the Yaaqubi Mosque, the Omar Ben-Khatab Mosque adjacent to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and more.
The Sidna Omar mosque was built in the 14th century right next to the Ramban Synagogue and was partially responsible for the synagogue's closure.