Jul 17,2017 – JORDAN TIMES EDITORIAL
Israel’s recent closure of Al Aqsa Mosque signaled a dangerous development in Tel Aviv’s encroachment upon the holy site.
The occupation authorities readily seized upon the excuse of security after Friday’s shooting to arbitrarily close Al Haram Al Sharif in a continuation of its policies of collective punishment.
Installing metal detectors at the holy compound and the deployment of armed Israeli personnel can only inflame Palestinian feelings further and could drive the volatile situation to a point of no return.
Israel must respect the sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque, which is the third holiest shrine to Muslims all over the world. It is not a mere tourist site that it can close whenever it wishes.
Jordan, as custodian over Islamic and Christian sites in Jerusalem, must have a say in how Al Haram Al Sharif is operated.
In his phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday, His Majesty King Abdullah reiterated Jordan’s rejection of all forms of violence, especially in holy sites and places of worship.
His Majesty underlined the need to prevent any party from disrupting security and stability, which could lead to further violence and extremism.
On numerous occasions, the King has focused attention on the injustices inflicted upon the Palestinians, stressing that they should end soonest, while at the same time warning of extremist forces exploiting the just Palestinian cause to further inflame the conflict.
The solution to silence extremist voices and to ending any acts of violence is not by reactionary attempts to treat the symptoms of the conflict, but by resolving the conflict itself in a just manner, and that is by establishing an independent, viable Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil on the land occupied by Israel in the 1967 war, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Amidst a conflict-ridden region, it is easy to lose sight of the Middle East’s central cause, but Jordan continues to work diligently towards keeping the limelight on the Palestinian issue.
Leaving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to fester will only exacerbate the region’s woes.
Jordan cannot be left alone in its attempts to establish peace in the Holy Land. Already pressured by economic problems and a growing refugee burden, there is only so much that the Kingdom can do on its own to keep the region focused on the bigger picture.