February 2, 2023

Jerusalem violence puts century-old status quo to the test

6 min read

Editor’s note: A version of the story first appeared in the April 25 edition of CNN’s Middle East Newsletter, appearing three times a week among the region’s biggest stories. Sign up here..


The recent increase in Violence Jordan has been left in a difficult position compared to its nearly a century-old security responsibilities in the city at some of Jerusalem’s most important holy sites.

In recent days, Israeli police have clashed with Palestinians on the grounds of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Unrest According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, more than 200 were injured.

Jordan, the custodian of many important Muslim and Christian sites in the city, feels it has no choice but to issue condemnatory statements from Amman, less than 100 kilometers away.

The old city is located in the eastern part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. JerusalemWhich is considered by most of the international community to be under Israeli occupation, although Israel rejects this feature.

For Jews, this place is called Temple Mount, the holiest place of Judaism. Muslims call it Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and venerate it as the third holiest site in Islam.

Last week, Jordan summoned an Israeli diplomat, saying recent Israeli actions were aimed at “changing the identity” of the holy sites. Israel retaliated by saying that Jordan’s response to the recent unrest – the country’s prime minister praised the stoners – was backing the perpetrators of the violence.

Jerusalem is of great importance to the Hashemite rulers of Jordan, who are thought to be descendants of the Prophet Muhammad of Islam. The monarchy has been the custodian of the city’s Muslim and Christian holy sites since 1924 and sees itself as a guarantor of the religious rights of Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem and the integrity of their holy sites.

Guardianship is important for Jordan because it has its roots in history and serves as a source of legitimacy, says Marwan Musharraf, vice president of studies for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the former Jordanian foreign minister. Has lived and was its first ambassador to Israel.

Since 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem from Jordan, arrangements have been made between the two through an understanding of the status quo. Israel formally recognized Jordan’s “special role” at the site in 1994. Peace agreement And the current arrangement only allows Muslims to worship there, even though no one is allowed to go at certain times.

Despite the title, Jordan’s surveillance does not allow it to control movement in and around the sites. The city is under Israeli control and the kingdom has no shoes on the ground. But Israeli activities in and around the Al-Aqsa Mosque – including numerous archeological excavations and visits to religious Jews, many of which have apparently been filmed in prayer – have continued without significant changes in behavior. Diplomatic protests have erupted.

“The advantage Jordan has under the peace agreement is both diplomatic and legal, but on the ground it has no advantage.” Muasher Told CNN. The current patronage for Jordan, he adds, is “probably the best in the current context” to maintain its role in the city, as it is unlikely to be offered further by Israel.

Some experts warn that this role is being eliminated.

The title is symbolic, says Amir al-Sabila, a non-resident colleague at the Stemson Center in Washington, D.C. Is the source. ”

He says the surveillance model needs to be reviewed before it becomes a problem for Jordan. As Israel normalizes relations with Arab states, he adds, the role of Jerusalem in protecting the holy sites may be questioned, and Jordan needs to take advantage of the value of its status there.

As a large number of Arab states started a wave. Normalization With Israel in 2020, Jordanian government Concerned Custody will be transferred to Saudi Arabia as a final reward for possible recognition of Israel. There was a reaction in Jordan. IntensePointing to Riyadh affirm Oman’s role as site protector.

Ultimately, Musharraf says, the only way for Israel to move forward is to resolve its problems with the Palestinians in Jerusalem.

“What we’ve seen in the last few weeks in Jerusalem is that it doesn’t matter how many agreements Israel is making with the Arab world,” he said. “If they can’t come to terms with the Palestinians living among them, there will be no peace.”

Turkish philanthropist Kavala sentenced to life in prison

Turkish philanthropist Usman Kavala was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Monday after he was convicted of trying to overthrow the government by financing protests. Turkish opposition leaders have vowed to overturn the sentence.

  • backgroundKawala, 64, has been in prison for more than four years without charge and has denied allegations during the 2013 Gezi protests that sparked anti-government unrest across the country. Kavala played a key role in the development of Turkish civil society before his arrest in 2017.
  • Why it’s important: The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and activists say the case is politically motivated and part of a crackdown on dissent under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – the government denies the allegations. Turkey’s Western allies, including the US and German embassies, echoed calls for Kavala’s release last year, which received threats from Erdogan to deport his ambassadors.

Yemeni Houthis release British crew of crew of Emirati ship

Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have released the crew of a UAE cargo ship that was seized on January 3, the group’s spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam tweeted on Monday, noting that crew members A British citizen was also released.

  • backgroundThe UAE cargo ship RWABEE was seized by Houthis in the Red Sea on January 3, who said it had military equipment on board. The Saudi-led coalition said the plane was carrying medical supplies. The British government had earlier identified the released British man as Luke Simons, saying he had been held without trial since 2017.
  • Why it’s important: The Houthi movement in Yemen and the Saudi-led coalition are taking steps to end hostilities after the recent seven-year war left Yemen in a dire humanitarian situation. As the Gulf monarchies worry about a post-nuclear Iran-backed Iran, they are engaged in direct talks with their longtime enemy, which continues to support armed proxies throughout the region.

Libya’s parliamentary-backed prime minister says he has discussed with US officials efforts to hold elections.

Libya’s parliamentary-appointed prime minister, Fathi Bashaga, has met with senior US officials to discuss holding elections and efforts to “establish economic and political security.”

  • backgroundThe parliament in the east appointed Bashagh in March, but the current UN-backed prime minister, Abdul Hamid al-Dubeiba, refused to step down, leading to a long standoff between the two rival governments.
  • Why it’s important: The unrest in the oil-producing country could have an impact on crude oil prices at a time when the war in Ukraine has pushed up prices sharply, leading to rising global inflation. Earlier this month, protesters shut down several oil installations in the country, demanding that Al-Dubeiba resign.
A statue of the Canaanite goddess Anat hangs in Gaza City on April 25 after being discovered by a Palestinian farmer.

A farmer works on his land in Gaza City. Exposed The head of a 4,500-year-old statue of the Canaanite goddess Anat was unveiled to the public on Tuesday.

Jamal Khan, director of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Ghazan, said in a press conference that Sir Khan Younis was found in Sheikh Hamuda.

“At first I thought I would sell it to someone to make some money,” Nadal Abu Eid, a farmer, told The New Arab. Contains. ”

Rida said ministry staff concluded that the statue belonged to Sir Anat, the goddess of love, beauty and war in Canaanite mythology.

The Canaanites were an ancient pagan nation that the Bible says inhabited Jerusalem and other parts of the Middle East before the advent of monotheism.

Radha called the statue “a symbol of the oldest human civilization living in Gaza City.”

He said that Anat was the goddess of love, beauty and war.

Nariman Khalih, a member of the ministry’s staff, said the statue would be on display at the Palace Museum in Pasha, Gaza, in the next few days.

The museum, one of the few in Gaza, used to function as a girls’ school before it was converted into a museum thanks to a German grant. The first story of the palace is of the Mamluks, a Muslim family who ruled from Cairo to Egypt and Levant from the 13th to the 15th century. According to the United Nations Development Program, the second story is largely about Ottoman architecture.

Virtually no foreign tourists come to Gaza because there are so many restrictions on coming and going in the area.

By Jack Guy

Coptic Christians walk to the Assyrian monastery on April 25 to celebrate the festival of Sham al-Nasim, or spring, in Malawi, Egypt.

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