Jordan Islamists furious with Israel over Aqsa ramp closure

AFP , Monday 12 Dec 2011

Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan describe the Israeli decision to close the access ramp to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem as 'flagrant aggression' and a 'a very dangerous move'

Jordan's powerful Islamists on Monday denounced a decision by Israel to close a controversial access ramp to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem as "flagrant aggression."

"This is a very dangerous move," the head of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, Hammam Said, told AFP.

"The only solution against this entity (Israel) is resistance in order to protect the sanctity of the holy places against such flagrant aggression," he said.

Israeli officials said on Monday that the the wooden structure known as the Mughrabi ramp leading to the sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem had been closed on public safety concerns.

"Based on an order from the city council, they have closed the ramp," police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP, referring to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation which is responsible for the upkeep of the structure.

"The police and the Western Wall Heritage Foundation decided yesterday to close the temporary Mughrabi ramp," municipal spokesman Stephan Miller told AFP.

In Amman, the Islamist leader charged that the move was part of efforts by Israel to "Judaise" Jerusalem and was a "slap in the face for Arab rulers, namely those who have peace treaties with the Jews."

Jerusalem city officials say the ramp poses a fire hazard and could collapse onto the women's prayer section by the Western Wall, the most sacred site at which Jews can pray.

Last month, Jordan, the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem that signed a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, warned that any attempt to close the ramp would lead to "endless" violence in the Middle East.

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