Middle East

Jordan slams Israel over Jerusalem scuffle

Israeli police officers stand guard during clashes in the Old City of Jerusalem, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. Earlier this week, hardline Jewish activists were arrested for trying to pray atop the mount. An aide to the Palestinian president said Friday's protest was because of that visit. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

AMMAN: Jordan on Friday criticised Israeli police for entering the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, claiming that the Jewish state's policies seek to "ignite religious violence" in the region.

"Jordan condemns the raid on the mosque compound as well as attacking unarmed worshippers," information minister and government spokesman Samih Maayatah said in a statement carried by state-run Petra news agency.

"Israel's policies against Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem seek to ignite religious violence in the region," Maayatah added, demanding that the international community "stop such violations."

Israeli police entered the compound in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday after being stoned by worshippers, following several days of clashes there, police and witnesses said.

Police and an AFP correspondent said the forces used sound bombs to disperse the crowds when people began throwing stones after the end of the weekly Friday prayers.

Some witnesses said police had also used tear gas.

The scuffles broke out after days of tension at the compound, which is referred to as the Temple Mount by Jews and Haram al-Sharif by Muslims.

Since the 1967 war in which Israel seized the West Bank and east Jerusalem from Jordan, the kingdom has continued to act as custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

In 1994, Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel.





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