Jordan Backs Palestinian Stance in Gate of Mercy Dispute | Editor's Choice | Ammon News



Jordan Backs Palestinian Stance in Gate of Mercy Dispute


[3/9/2019 8:35:35 AM]

AMMONNEWS - A high-ranking Israeli intelligence-political delegation has returned to Tel Aviv after holding negotiations with the Jordanian authorities to defuse tensions on a building at Jerusalem’s sacred compound known as the Gate of Mercy.

Israel insisted during talks with Jordan's government and the Waqf, a Jordanian appointed body that oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, that the site must be closed before renovations, a proposal that was rejected by Amman, the custodian of the holy compound.

Jordanian officials sat conditions that renovations at the Gate of Mercy should resume instantly amid ongoing negotiations to resolve differences on the highly sensitive holy site.

Jordan, Palestinians and Israel only agreed on closing the building during renovations that are expected to last long.

The high-ranking Israeli delegation to Amman was headed by Chairman of the National Security Council Meir Ben Shabbat.

Unlike previous times, the US administration refrained from mediating in the talks over the Palestinian Authority’s rejection to communicate with it.

The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (KAN) quoted on Wednesday a Jordanian official as saying that a temporary solution for the Gate of Mercy crisis could be found by allowing the Waqf to transfer construction material required for maintenance and renovation to the building.

The Jordanian official confirmed that the sticking point in the negotiations was on the mechanism to transfer the material.

Although Israeli security forces were out in force in occupied Eastern Jerusalem, more than 40,000 attended prayers on Friday at Al-Aqsa Mosque including the Gate of Mercy.

“The occupation policies will fail because of the solidarity of Palestinians who have come under all sorts of aggression by the occupation forces,” said Imam Sheikh Ismael Nawahda.

During prayer at the Gate of Mercy, Sheikh Raed Daana stressed that Aqsa is a mere right for Muslims despite the oppressive decisions of the occupation aiming to evict it from worshipers.

“It is the occupation that is preventing us from performing prayer safely and securely. It is the occupation that is holding the weapon and preventing us from reaching Aqsa. We are not the ones calling for war and blood,” he said.

*Asharq Al-Awsat

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