For Our Holy Sites: What Can We Do?!

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Mon 17 July / Jul 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

The Jordanian diplomatic engagement with the Israeli side is ongoing in spite of the occupation authorities’ partial opening of the Aqsa Mosque to worshipers.

This isn’t the first time the Palestinians and the occupation forces have collided.

In fact, for a long time, unrest and clashes have been the predominant setting, in regards to the holy campus of the Mosque.

In the past few months, Jordan has submitted dozens of objection memos to the Israeli authorities, over the repetitive violations of the Aqsa Mosque situation.

Jordanian diplomacy has more than a few times intervened to stop Israeli transgressions, and allow worshipers to pray in safety.

The current crisis, however, will be a pivoting point in the open confrontation to preserve the sanctities of the holy city of Jerusalem.

Jordan led an intensive diplomatic campaign, with influential countries, as well as Israel, of course, to prevent further escalations.

It is crucial that the militarised operation in the Aqsa vicinity be suspended at once.

Meanwhile, the Israelis would seize this moment to see the fitting of measures they couldn’t install since the fall of the city under occupation, 50 years ago.

Officials, closely connected to the innermost ongoing of the situation, confirm that King Abdullah II, himself, has led the communication campaign to contain the Zionist offensive against the sanctities in the occupied city after the recent developments.

His Majesty issued decisive directive to not give in to the Israeli reaction, no matter how difficult the situation may be.

The primary objective of the campaign is to push the occupation authorities to stand down on their lockdown.

As a result, after the King spoke to Netanyahu, a decision was made to reopen the entrances to the Aqsa Mosque complex. But the efforts do not stop there.

What really concerns the King now is that the Israelis would exploit the situation to transform the standing arrangement in the Mosque’s complex.

It is paramount that the Awqaf Administration there carries out its duties, in peace.

Jordanian officials very clearly stated to the Israeli side our absolute refusal of any security arrangements or measure by the occupation, at the Aqsa’s entrances.

Any such rearrangements contradict the standing agreements, which guarantee the local, Awqaf personnel the right the secure the Aqsa Mosque complex.

The unsupervised, unilateral enforcement of occupation forces within the vicinity of the Aqsa Mosque, in these last three days, has been worrying for Jordan.

It seemed more like a drill for a future, catastrophic scenario, not far ahead, perhaps.

Previously, Jordan’s royal diplomacy was more than enough to save the day, and prevent any such violations from escalating.

Many a times before, the Kingdom was capable of safeguarding the holy sites in the occupied city of Jerusalem from further militarised, Israeli interference.

These successes were realised in spite of the influx of settlers and occupation soldiers.

Two years ago, when the settlers broke into the Mosque and occupation soldiers turned the life of Jerusalemites to living hell!

That was perhaps one of the most dangerous crises endured by the occupied city and the holy sites there.

Back then, Jordanian-Israeli relations peaked an unprecedented level of tension.

Jordan used up all of its power to stop the Israeli escalation.

The Israeli PM came to Amman and made a public promise to respect Jordan’s custodianship over Muslim and Christian sanctities in Jerusalem.

He also pledged to maintain the status-quo, security-wise, in the middle of the holy month of Ramadan.

Afterwards, worshipers flowed into the Aqsa Mosque campus by the tens of thousands.

These incidents, if anything, say two main things.

First, there is no doubt that King Abdullah’s intervention was the decisive factor in the effort to avoid the Aqsa Mosque a terrible calamity.

The second thing, equally absolute, is that for Jordan to continue doing its part, there must be Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic support of the Jordanian role, in the face of occupation.

The years have proven to everybody that the Israeli occupation does not care about the International law, so far as the world is willing to turn the blind eye!

At a conference on Jerusalem, held months ago in Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised Jordan’s role, and that of our decisive King, in the preservation of Jerusalem and the holy sites there.

The Turkish president called upon Arabs and Muslims to support the Jordanian endeavour.

Instead of all the sentimental gibberish, why don’t the political and parliamentary forces put together an initiative, based on Erdogan's call, to mobilize Arab and Islamic support for Jordan in its battle to defend our sanctities?

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.