Jordan has condemned Israel’s arrest of an imam at Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday as a “violation of international law”, Anadolu has reported. Mohamed Salim was arrested when he left the mosque after delivering the Friday sermon.
“This is an interference by the Israeli authorities in the affairs of Al-Aqsa Mosque and it is a violation of its own duties and pledges as an occupying authority,” said Jordan’s Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments, Hayil Daud. “This is a violation of international law.”
According to Daud, his ministry followed up the issue of the imam’s arrest and he was released after a few hours in Israeli custody.
Salim used his sermon to criticise the continuous desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place in Islam, by illegal Jewish settlers. He called for Muslims to intensify their presence in the mosque compound during the Jewish Passover holiday, when the settlers’ leader called for more incursions at the religious site.
The occupied Palestinian territories have been witnessing a popular uprising since October, which began in protest at the intensive armed incursions at the mosque by settlers guarded by Israeli police.
Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian sanctities are under Jordanian guardianship, as Jordan was the ruling authority before the Israeli occupation. In the Jordan-Israel peace agreement signed in 1994, the government in Amman kept its guardianship over such sites. This was affirmed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who signed an agreement with King Abdullah II in March last year, giving him the right to guard and defend Jerusalem and the holy sites in Palestine.