State-run Jordanian Petra News Agency reported that Safadi “warned against the repercussions of the recent tensions, which could be de-escalated by obliging Israel to respect the historical and legal situation in the mosque and to fully and immediately open the holy shrine before worshippers.”
Muslims have refused to pass through metal detectors erected at the gate to access the mosque but Israeli authorities argue that it is a necessary security measure following the killing of two Israeli police officers around the premises.
Safadi said “Israel must cancel all its unilateral actions” before the situation degenerates following the series of confrontations that have taken place since last week between worshippers and security personnel.
President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the US to intervene. In a telephone conversation with Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, he requested that the metal detectors be moved from the site. Israel’s Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Erdan, argues that he does not notice any inconvenience with the new measure stating “during the past week, there have not been any voices against the establishment of electronic gates, or even any condemnations at the international level.”
President Erdogan of Turkey stressed that “any restriction on Muslims entering Al-Aqsa Mosque is unacceptable.”
Al Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam but it is also a sacred place to Jews and Christians. Opening the doors of the compound to all the three religions has often not been an issue but increasing Israeli control over the area and East Jerusalem, where it is located, has raised eyebrows among Muslims and Palestinians in particular, who consider it as a home.