Jordan hires 52 new Wakf workers, with 70 more planned, that will boost their presence at holy sites in Jerusalem, to prevent ‘settlers & extremists from storming the Temple Mount’.
Jordan has appointed 52 new employees and guards at its Jerusalem-based Wakf Department, Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammed Momani announced on Wednesday.
He said that another 70 employees and guards will be appointed soon to the Wakf Department, which is in charge of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.
His remarks refer to rising tensions on the Temple Mount in wake of protests by Palestinians against visits to the site by Jewish groups and individuals.
Momani condemned Israel’s decision to close the gates leading to the Temple Mount to Muslim worshippers. He also condemned permission granted to “settlers and extremists to storm” the Temple Mount.
He stressed the importance of commitment to results of the trilateral meeting in 2014 between King Abdullah, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that called for preserving the status quo in Jerusalem and “respecting the Hashemite custodianship over holy sites in East Jerusalem.”
The Palestinian Authority did not comment on Jordan’s decision to appoint new guards and employees at the Wakf Department. Over the past two decades, the Jordanians and the Palestinian Authority have been separately seeking to increase their presence at the Temple Mount.
In Ramallah, a spokesman for the PA refused to comment on the Jordanian decision. However, the spokesman condemned Israeli “aggression against our holy sites.”
The spokesman accused Israel of waging a “religious war” on Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque.
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