(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Abdul Salam Abbadi on Tuesday condemned the entry of extremist Jewish settlers into Al Aqsa Mosque under the protection of Israeli forces.
In a statement, Abbadi said such acts have increased during the Jewish holiday season, in an attempt by Israeli authorities to force a new reality at Al Aqsa Mosque as they did at Al Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.
Abbadi stressed that the continuation of excavation work near the Bab Al Magharbeh pathway is "arrogant and unacceptable" and seeks to alter the Arab and Islamic identity of the holy city, noting that the Foreign Ministry has protested against these actions several times.
The excavations around Al Aqsa Mosque and in the Buraq Square/Western Wall Plaza and the demolition of Palestinian houses in Silwan, south of Al Aqsa Mosque are in flagrant violation of international agreements, the Geneva Accords, The Hague Convention, UN resolutions and UNESCO World Heritage Committee decisions, Abbadi said.
The minister also condemned the Israeli authorities' decision to ban some of the awqaf department's employees in Jerusalem from entering Al Aqsa Mosque.
He urged Arab and Islamic countries and the UN to place pressure on Israel to cease its attacks on the religious sites in the old city.