BEIRUT

Middle East

Jordan PM warns peace deal with Israel may be reviewed

Jordan's Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour speaks in the Parliament in Amman April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN: Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur warned on Wednesday that Jordan might review a 1994 peace treaty with Israel after the Knesset began a debate on allowing Jewish prayer at Jerusalem's sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

"If Israel wants to violate the peace treaty in this issue, the entire treaty, its article, details and wording will be put on the table," Nsur told Qatar's Al-Watan paper in an interview.

Under the peace treaty, Jordan is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

Nsur's remarks, as cited by the state-run Petra news agency, came as Jordan's parliament passed a motion urging the expulsion of Israel's ambassador to the kingdom, Daniel Nevo.

The vote followed a motion the previous day signed by 47 MPs demanding that the peace treaty with Israel be scrapped.

"All deputies who attended a meeting today to discuss Israel's debate on sovereignty over Al-Aqsa voted to kick out the Israeli envoy and recall the Jordanian ambassador in Israel (Walid Obeidat)," prominent lower house deputy Khalil Attieh told AFP.

"This was in protest at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) debate. It is up to the government to act on the vote. If it does not, we will consider a no-confidence motion."

The Israeli foreign ministry declined to comment on the Jordanian parliament's vote.

The Knesset Tuesday evening began a debate called by rightwingers to demand that Israel end its practice of forbidding Jewish prayer at the Al-Aqsa compound.

In a motion which was not put to a vote, MP Moshe Feiglin, a hardline member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, said Israel's fear of igniting Muslim rage amounted to discrimination against Jews.

"Any terror organisation can raise its flag there (but) there can be no trace of the Israeli flag," Feiglin told the Knesset. "Only Jews are forbidden to pray at this place."

Jews now pray at the Western Wall plaza below the compound.

Jordan's opposition Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, urged the government on Tuesday to freeze the peace deal.

"The custodianship is a Jordanian national interest and a sacred religious duty," said the IAF, the main opposition party.

Israeli police on Tuesday clashed with stone-throwing Palestinian protesters at the compound ahead of the Knesset debate.

The Al-Aqsa compound, which lies in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem's Old City, is a flashpoint because of its significance to both Muslims and Jews.

Sitting above the Western Wall plaza, it houses the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques and is Islam's third-holiest site.

It is also Judaism's holiest place, being the site of the first and second Jewish temples.

 

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Summary

Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur warned on Wednesday that Jordan might review a 1994 peace treaty with Israel after the Knesset began a debate on allowing Jewish prayer at Jerusalem's sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

The vote followed a motion the previous day signed by 47 MPs demanding that the peace treaty with Israel be scrapped.

The Israeli foreign ministry declined to comment on the Jordanian parliament's vote.

The Knesset Tuesday evening began a debate called by rightwingers to demand that Israel end its practice of forbidding Jewish prayer at the Al-Aqsa compound.

In a motion which was not put to a vote, MP Moshe Feiglin, a hardline member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, said Israel's fear of igniting Muslim rage amounted to discrimination against Jews.


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