Jordan Recalls Ambassador Over ‘Violations’

AMMAN (Reuters) -

Jordan on Wednesday recalled its ambassador to Israel in protest against what it described as Israeli “violations” in Yerushalayim and its holy sites, the first time it has done so since the countries signed a peace treaty in 1994, Jordanian officials said.

Israel last week closed Har HaBayis for a day, which also houses the Al-Aqsa mosque, amid increasing Palestinian violence around it. The move infuriated Jordanian King Abdullah, who is the official custodian of the compound.

The Jordanian prime minister had instructed Jordan’s delegation at the United Nations to “lodge an official complaint to the Security Council,” Mohammad Al-Momani, government spokesman, told Reuters by telephone.

Israel shut the compound for one day last Thursday following an attack on an Israeli-American activist who was shot and seriously wounded after speaking out against a ban on Jews entering the site.

Poskim forbid Jews from entering the area.

Meanwhile, Israeli security forces entered Har Habayis and again clashed with Palestinian stone throwers on Wednesday, officials said.

Omar Alkeswani, a Palestinian manager of al-Aqsa, claimed that police entered and that 20 people were wounded in the incident.

Israeli police said Palestinians began throwing stones and firecrackers at police officers minutes before the plaza was to open for visitors.

“Police entered the area, pushed the masked rioters back, and they fled back into al-Aqsa. Police closed the front gate of the mosque but did not enter,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

The officers used stun grenades to disperse the crowd and the situation was now under control, he said.