Jordan's Seriousness in Confronting Israel's Policies against Al-Aqsa

May 19, 2022 11:21 pm

Dr. Saleh Al-Naami
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett has recently confirmed that he would not allow any foreign party to assume any role in the administration of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, as this would affect the "Israeli sovereignty". This confirmation represented an official end to the Jordanian trusteeship of the Islamic holy sites in Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa, in which Israel has committed to respecting the "Wadi Araba" agreement signed with Jordan in 1994.

Bennett was not satisfied with this announcement, he was keen to take certain steps that give practical political credibility to it. He rejected the Jordanian request to increase the number of guards of Al-Awqaf Department in Al-Quds under the Jordanian Ministry of Al-Awqaf; although the Ministry of Internal Security and the occupation police leadership supported the request as it was considered to be a "positive role" for Al-Awqaf during the clashes between the fighters in Al-Aqsa and the occupation forces.

The Royal Family of Jordan regards the guardianship of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa as one of the pillars of the political system in which it has a monopoly on absolute influence. However, the reaction of King of Jordan Abdullah II to the Israel's policies towards Al-Aqsa has encouraged Israel to liquidate Jordanian guardianship.

The Jordanian regime did nothing when the occupation authorities withdrew ,from the Islamic Awqaf in Al-Quds, the powers to determine the identity and number of non-Muslims allowed to enter Al-Aqsa in 2003, amid the continuity of the Al-Aqsa Intifada. After this date, the occupation police became the party that determines the identity and number of non-Muslims who are allowed to enter Al-Aqsa and their times of visits. Also, Israel has taken advantage of the confiscation of powers from Al-Awqaf to provide the security environment that has led to the intensification of settlers' desecration of Al-Aqsa and the blockade of Muslims there.

Perhaps the most serious step taken by Israel is exploiting the deplorable Jordanian position in cooperating with the Jewish "Temple" movements, which seek to destroy Al-Aqsa by giving these movements the right to organize campaigns to desecrate Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa and to use the capabilities of the occupation Government and police in facilitating the task of these movements, which declare their intention to build the Temple on the ruins of Al-Aqsa.

In contrast, the occupation police imposed unprecedented restrictions on the conditions of Muslim prayers in Al-Aqsa, the most important of which is its decision to dissolve the ties of the murabiteen in Al-Masjid and remove them from the circle of law; as well as to remove the Islamic Movement - the northern wing led by Sheikh Raed Salah - as its leadership and elements play a key role in countering Israel's plans in Al-Aqsa through a wide range of activities under the slogan "Al-Aqsa is in Danger.”

Things did not stop there. In 2015, the King of Jordan and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached an agreement that regulates settlers' desecration campaigns for Al-Aqsa. The agreement represented an official Jordanian acceptance to withdraw powers from Al-Awqaf in favor of the occupation police. Netanyahu committed to preventing the activists of the Temple Movements from performing Talmudic prayers in Al-Aqsa at the request of the King of Jordan. However, the leaders and activists of these movements have become proud of performing prayers, as they deliberately document their racial acts in videos shown on social media..
Israel continued to liquidate Jordanian guardianship, when it prevented Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah from visiting Al-Aqsa a year ago.

What most reflects the lack of seriousness of the Jordanian regime in confronting the Israeli policies towards the Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is not only the insistence of King Abdullah on not to employ papers that Amman possesses in order to try to stop those policies. Yet, the regime continues to develop its relations with Tel Aviv without any regard to its Judaizational procedures in Al-Masjid.

 If the Jordanian regime was serious in its defense, it would have halted intensive security, military and intelligence cooperation with Israel in response to its practices in Al-Aqsa, retreated from economic partnerships with it, and cancelled the purchase of gas from it, an Arab gas looted by the Israeli. In fact, the Jordanian public opinion and the political elite, including the members of the Jordanian House of Representatives strongly oppose the deal.

Moreover, the King of Jordan tended to open up new prospects of economic cooperation with Israel precisely at the height of its aggression against Al-Aqsa. The Israeli media revealed that the king, during his recent meeting with Israeli President Ishak Herzog in Amman, offered to launch a joint food stockpile in response to the repercussions of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

In another agreement, Jordan committed to supplying Israel with solar electricity in the Jordanian desert in exchange for access to water supplied by the Israeli desalination plants.

It is clear that the Jordanian regime's insistence on developing its relationship with Israel clearly sends a message of encouragement to Israel to continue its policies aimed at Judaizing Al-Aqsa, which means that the regime in Jordan has not been serious about maintaining its will on the mosque.