15 February 2019

The government of Jordan in January blasted the Israeli occupation authorities’ decision to install and erect wooden poles and metal structures near the Buraq Wall, which is the western wall and an integral part of Masjid al-Aqsa.

“The Awqaf administration (religious affairs department) is, under international law, the national authority that has the mandate of running all affairs of the Al-Aqsa Mosque”, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Sufian Qudah, calling Israel, as an occupying power” to fully comply with its obligations in that regard.

He said maintenance and rehabilitation works at the 144 000 square metered Muslim holy site, including its boundary walls, fall within the Awqaf administration’s exclusive prerogative, demanding Israel to return a rock that fell from the Buraq Wall last July.

Qudah, further, urged the international community to live up to its responsibilities in pressuring Israel to maintain the historical and legal status quo of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Also, he held Israel fully responsible for the safety of the mosque and the worshippers, while calling for an immediate cessation of Israel unilateral measures.

In a subsequent statement a few days ago, Qudah said his ministry is closely monitoring “unilateral, rejected and condemned” Israeli measures in the vicinity of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif.

Among these Israeli violations is the so-called “Beit Haliba” near the Buraq Square, the Foreign Ministry said in itsstatement, condemning the Judaising project.

Qudah added that the Foreign Ministry has worked in the past few years in coordination with the Palestinian people on the endorsement of several UN and UNESCO resolutions condemning the implementation of the “Beit Haliba” project, as well as other projects and illegal excavations carried out by the authorities of the Israeli occupation in the vicinity of Al Aqsa Mosque.

The resolutions issued over the last four years by the UNESCO’s Executive Council and World Heritage Committee called on Israel, as the occupying power, to abandon this project and halt its construction, in line with Israel’s obligations under the UNESCO’s conventions and various resolutions.

In a separate statement in January, Islamic organizations in Jerusalem accused Israel of exploiting the situation in the Middle East and taking advantage of US policy to change the historical and legal reality in the city and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The accusations were made in a joint statement issued by the Council for Waqf Affairs, Islamic Affairs and the Holy Places of Islam, the House of Palestinian Jurisprudence and the Supreme Islamic Council.

The statement claimed that a support had been placed on the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the side of the Islamic Museum, in a blatant violation of the authority of the Islamic Endowments Department, which has the authority to carry out renovations.

The Islamic organizations demanded that Israel immediately remove the support, warning against a change in the historical and legal situation of the area as approved by international agreements.

The statement further claimed that Israel carried out excavation work that exposed the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, leading to the fall of the rocks in the wall. According to the statement, Israel took the rocks and refused to return them despite requests from the Jordanian government and the Islamic Endowments Department.

“The Al-Aqsa Mosque is a symbol and faith of 1.8 billion Muslims, and we will never agree that the Al-Aqsa Mosque will be harmed.”

The Buraq Wall is one of the most famous historical landmarks of the occupied city of Jerusalem. It is the wall that borders the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the west, and extends to al-Maghareba Gate to the south.

The Wall has a great religious status for Muslims. It is associated with the miracle of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), known as Israa and Mi’raj [Prophet’s night travel and ascension to heavens]. The wall was named after the creature that the Prophet (PBUH) used to travel by night from Makkah to Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. It was tied in the vicinity of the Wall, whilst the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) led all the Prophets at al-Aqsa in Salaah.