Jordan demands total control, reduced Jewish presence on Temple Mount

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Jordan fears it is losing its recognized status as official custodian of Jerusalem’s holy Muslim sites, including the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, as Palestinians incited by Hamas, other terror groups and the Palestinian Authority continuously held riots during the Muslim month of Ramadan. In at least one incident, rioters nearly set the Al-Aqsa mosque on fire. Jordan has blamed Israel for the violence and for violating the status quo there. And now, it is demanding total control over the Temple Mount, with worrying consequences. But experts say the story goes deeper.

Moshe Albo, a senior researcher in the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Reichman University in Herzliya (formerly the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya), told JNS that in order to understand what’s happening in Jerusalem, it’s important to understand the broader context.

He explained that Jordan is currently experiencing “huge” domestic economic and political crises. With soaring energy and basic food prices, in addition to visible cracks within the royal family, Jordan’s King Abdullah II is losing his image of stability.

The country is also worried that Hamas is replacing it as custodian and “gatekeeper” of the Temple Mount.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem” Zech. 12:2

Responding to criticism that Israeli Police used heavy-handed tactics to quell Palestinian violence on the Temple Mount, earlier this week Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid accused Hamas of orchestrating the riots. At this point, Palestinian rioters seem to be listening to instructions from Hamas—not the Jordanian Waqf.

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