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Amman accuses Israel of ‘state terrorism’ in Jerusalem

AMMAN: Jordan on Thursday accused Israel of “state terrorism” after it closed Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam.

Israel said its closure of the shrine, which is also holy to Jews, was temporary and aimed at calming tempers after police shot dead a Palestinian accused of trying to kill a Jewish hardliner.

Jordan’s Islamic affairs minister, Hayel Daoud, denounced the Jewish state for “closing the gates of Al-Aqsa mosque and preventing the faithful from entering”, state news agency Petra reported.

He urged the international community to help Jordan put pressure on Israel “to raise the terrorist blockade” imposed on the compound.

“This is a dangerous escalation by the authorities of the occupation and state terrorism that we can neither accept nor keep silent about,” Daoud said.

The shooting and wounding late Wednesday of Israeli rightwinger Yehuda Glick and the subsequent killing of suspected gunman Muataz Hijazi sent tensions soaring to a new high.

Thursday’s closure of the compound came after months of near daily clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police in the occupied eastern sector of the Holy City.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas called the unprecedented closure tantamount to a “declaration of war”.

Jordan’s Islamic Waqf, which has responsibility for the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, confirmed it was the first time such a measure had been taken since Israel seized Arab east Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Jordan is one of only two Arab countries, along with Egypt, to have signed a peace treaty with Israel. -AFP

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