Hamas: War will settle Jerusalem dispute, not talks
Jordan to Israel: Temple Mount violence derails peace efforts; Arab MK: Israel letting extremists desecrate Al-Aqsa.
Following a conflagration of violence at Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Sunday, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal declared that "Jerusalem's fate will be decided with jihad (holy war) and resistance, and not negotiations."
Clashes between Israeli police and youths armed with rocks broke out Sunday at the Noble Sanctuary/Temple Mount compound, home of the Muslim holy site, the al Aqsa mosque. The confrontation was apparently sparked by radical Jewish clerics' call to their followers to go up to the compound, and by calls by radical Muslim clerics for their followers to defend the site.
Meshal, in Damascus, voiced hope that Israel's Arabs and the residents of the West Bank would join the residents of the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by Hamas, in staging demonstrations in protest of the Jerusalem events, Israel Radio reported.
Meanwhile, Jordan warned the Israel Police and religious Jewish radicals on Sunday that further provocation at the compound would "fuel violence in the region and jeopardize peace efforts".
"Any new provocative attempts by Israeli troops and Jewish extremists such as what happened today in the shrine's compound represents a flagrant violation of international law and conventions and sets the stage for more tension and acts of violence," Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communication Nabil Sharif said in a statement.
"Jordan, out of its historical responsibilities in being the custodian of the holy places in Jerusalem, is extremely worried about what is taking place and warns against going ahead with this provocative behavior on the part of Israeli troops," he added.
Sharif urged "an immediate end to such dangerous practices which threaten to derail all opportunities of peace and stability in the region".
Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War. Under the peace treaty which the two countries concluded in 1994, Israel acknowledged Amman's right to look after all Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem.
Relations between Jordan and Israel have soured over the past four weeks, with the Jordanian government summoning the Israeli ambassador in Amman twice to lodge a strongly-worded protest over the incidents on Temple Mount.
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry also summoned the envoys of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to ask that they intervene immediately to ensure a halt to unilateral steps by Israel in East Jerusalem, including excavations and measures to force Arab citizens to emigrate.
Arab MK: Israel provoking a billion Muslims over Temple Mount
An Israeli Arab lawmaker warned earlier Sunday that Israel was "provoking" the Muslim world by cracking down on Arab rioters on the Temple Mount in Jeruslaem.
"Israel is provoking a billion Muslims around the world, who will not hesitate to protect the Temple Mount with their own bodies," said MK Talab Al-Sana (United Arab List-Ta'al).
Stone-throwing Arab youths wounded three policemen on Sunday, after Jerusalem police raided the holy site in a bid to quell repeated bouts of rioting. At least 25 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes.
Al-Sana said: "Israeli police initiate avoidable riots that will end in blood shed, when they enable extremists to desecrate the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
He was referring to repeated rumors among Palestinians that Jewish extremists are planning on harming the holy site. No such attempts have been made.
The lawmaker warned that the situation could deteriorate to a complete loss of control and that the government is entirely responsible for any possible outcome.
"The Al-Aqsa mosque is under Israeli jurisdiction, and it is therefore the job of Israeli police to protect one of the holiest sites in the Muslim faith," he added.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner David Cohen arrived at the scene to witness the riots. He said the leaders responsible for the incitement were on location, provoking the rioters.
"There are large groups of East Jerusalem Arabs there who are being encouraged by the Islamic Movement leaders," said the commissioner. "The police will forcefully clamp down on those responsible for disrupting the peace at the Temple Mount."
Cohen added that Israel's policy is to keep the Temple Mount open to both Jewish and Muslim visitors "today and on every other day."
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