Guardianship of the holy sites of Jerusalem.. A Jordanian role that extends for 98 years

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Amman/ Laith Al-Junaidi/ Anatolia

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s statements regarding his country’s sovereignty over Al-Aqsa Mosque have raised many questions about the future of a 98-year-old Jordanian role and his guardianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites in East Jerusalem.

And last Sunday, Bennett, at the beginning of the weekly meeting of the Israeli government, considered that Israel is “the sovereign over Jerusalem, regardless of any external considerations,” and will take all decisions related to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the city, according to a statement by his office.

Bennett responded with this talk to statements made, Saturday, by Mansour Abbas, head of the United Arab List in the Israeli Knesset (4 seats out of 120), a partner in the government coalition headed by Bennett.

In his statements, Mansour Abbas stressed that the solution to the Al-Aqsa Mosque issue is “the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

He added that his party’s demands regarding Israeli measures on the Temple Mount are determined and managed by the King of Jordan, considering that he “has authority over Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem”, under the Hashemite guardianship.

Despite these statements and Oman’s lack of comment on them, the Kingdom adheres to its role in various international forums.

** Date of guardianship

The history of the Jordanian guardianship of Jerusalem and its sanctities dates back to 1924, during the reign of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, when he donated 24 thousand gold pounds; For the reconstruction of Islamic holy sites in the Temple Mount.

This step was called the first Hashemite reconstruction, after which he was pledged allegiance as the guardian of Jerusalem.

In 1950, Jordan and Palestine announced what is known as “the unity between the two banks (Jordan’s east and west)”, and after the disengagement in 1988, Jerusalem was excluded to remain under Jordanian auspices.

After the late King Hussein bin Talal took power in Jordan, in 1953 he ordered the formation of a royal committee under a special law; To rebuild the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, and the most prominent thing it did was to remove the effects of the fire that hit Al-Aqsa Mosque in August 1969, and that stage was called the second Hashemite reconstruction.

The current King of Jordan, Abdullah II, continued the mission of his fathers and grandfathers, and in 2002, he placed the decorative painting on the body of the Salah al-Din pulpit, after it was ravaged by a fire in 1969.

In addition, a lot of restoration and maintenance work was carried out, the most recent of which was the renewal of the furnishings of the Al-Qibli Mosque and the honorable rock in Al-Aqsa Mosque at the private expense of the Jordanian king last February.

Jordan retained its right to supervise religious affairs in Jerusalem under the Wadi Araba peace agreement, which it signed with Israel in 1994.

The second paragraph of Article 9 of the same agreement states that “Israel respects the current special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in the holy Islamic sites in Jerusalem, and when the final status negotiations are held, Israel will give a high priority to the historical Jordanian role in these places.”

** Comprehensive care

Jordan has many institutions and bodies concerned with the affairs of Jerusalem and its holy sites, including the Ministry of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and Holy Places, which has taken care of the affairs of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem from 1950 until
right Now.

The Ministry manages and maintains the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and has established in Jerusalem a department called the Endowment Department, to which the Islamic Antiquities Department is affiliated, which documents and maintains Islamic monuments at risk.

Jordan also belongs to the Department of the Chief Justice, which supervises the Sharia courts in Jerusalem, and there is complete coordination between the two sides in all matters related to personal status.

Among other institutions, the “Committee for the Reconstruction of the Blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock” (formed in 1954) is supervising the reconstruction work in the various religious and historical monuments in the Holy Mosque.

As for the Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs, it was formed in 1967 and reconstituted in 1994; To take care of Jerusalem’s affairs and to highlight its cause in international forums and world public opinion.

The last institution established by Jordan was the Hashemite Fund for the Reconstruction of the Blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in 2007.

The fund aims to provide the necessary funding for the care of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and the Islamic holy sites in Al-Quds Al-Sharif, to ensure the continuity of their reconstruction and maintenance, and to provide all the necessary requirements for them.

It should be noted that in March 2013, Jordan’s King Abdullah II signed an agreement with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that gives the kingdom the right to “guardianship and defense of Jerusalem and the holy sites” in Palestine.

The news published on the official page of Anadolu Agency is an abbreviation for a part of the news that is presented to subscribers through the News Stream System (HAS). ., ..

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