Jordan Summons Israeli Envoy Over Jerusalem Clashes

King Abdullah calls on Israel to cease 'dangerous provacations,' while Amman's foreign minister calls prospective evictions of Palestinians a war crime

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Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, tonight.
Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, tonight.Credit: Menahem KAHANA / AFP

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry summoned the Israeli envoy in Jordan Sunday in order to voice its official protest in light of the recent clashes in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

During the meeting, the chargés d'affaires said that Israel protects freedom of expression and religion and that it must prevent harming Jews' right to pray at the Western Wall.

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Earlier Sunday, Jordanian news outlets reported that King Abdullah II had spoken with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and expressed his support for the Palestinian people and condemned the Israeli conduct in East Jerusalem.

"What the Israeli police and special forces are doing, from violations against the mosque to attacks on worshippers, is barbaric [behavior] that is rejected and condemned," Jordan said earlier in a statement.

Frictions have mounted in Jerusalem and the West Bank, with nightly clashes in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood where numerous Palestinian families face eviction. King Abdullah, whose Hashemite family claims descent from Islam's Prophet Mohammad and draws legitimacy from its custodianship role, said Israeli actions in the holy city were an escalation and called on it to end its "dangerous provocations."

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the kingdom, which lost East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967's Six-Day War, would do its utmost to protect rights of Palestinians against ownership claims by Jewish settlers. "Israel as the occupying force carries responsibility for protecting rights of Palestinians in their homes," Safadi said in comments on state media.

Jordan had earlier provided the Palestinians with land deeds in Sheikh Jarrah it says proves Israeli settler claims to the property were groundless. "The eviction of Palestinians of Sheikh Jarrah from their homes is a war crime," Safadi said.

Several hundred Jordanians protested near the fortified Israeli embassy in Amman as dozens of anti-riot police stood by. Scores in the crowd chanted "Death to Israel". They called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and scrapping of the peace treaty with Israel. Many citizens in Jordan are of Palestinian origin

On Saturday, Jordan called on the international community to pressure Israel into easing tensions not only at the Al-Aqsa compound, but also throughout Jerusalem. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

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