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Jordan condemns Israel assault on Al-Aqsa mosque compound

AFP , Sunday 13 Sep 2015
Aqsa
An Israeli policewoman prevents a Palestinian woman from entering the compound which houses al-Aqsa mosque, known by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City September 13, 2015. (Photo:Reuters)
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Jordan, which has custodian rights over Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, condemned an assault on Sunday by the Israeli occupation army on the flashpoint holy site.

"The Jordanian government condemns the assault carried out by special forces of the Israeli occupation army against the Al-Aqsa mosque compound," Information Minister Mohammed Momani said.

He accused Israel of "provocations" and "attempts to change the status quo" at one of the most sensitive holy sites in the Middle East.

Jordan's status as custodian of Al-Aqsa and other Muslim holy sites in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem is enshrined in the 1994 peace treaty between the two countries.

Palestinian witnesses said police entered the mosque, Islam's third-holiest site. Police only said they closed the doors to the mosque to lock in rioters throwing stones, fireworks and other objects.

According to the Israeli police, the "rioters' had barricaded themselves in the mosque overnight with the aim of disrupting visits by Jews to the site ahead of the start of New Year celebrations on Sunday evening.

A Muslim witness accused police of entering the mosque and causing damage, saying prayer mats were partially burned.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 20 people required hospital treatment.

The mosque compound is the site of frequent clashes. In late July, Israeli police stormed  Al-Aqsa mosue as they clashed with Muslims angered by Jews' access to the compound on an annual day of Jewish mourning.

Israeli occupation forces also entered the mosque last November, prompting Jordan to recall its ambassador for three months in protest.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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