(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Jordan's delegation to the Qatar-hosted International Conference for the Defence of Jerusalem on Sunday called for joint Arab, Islamic and international action to stop violations against the Arab and Islamic identity of the holy city of Jerusalem by the Israeli occupation forces.
In a memorandum presented to the conference sent to The Jordan Times, the delegation said: "We must exert every possible political, diplomatic, legal and financial effort to address such violations."
Held in Doha in cooperation with the Arab League, the two-day conference seeks to highlight the legal status and the history of the holy Arab city, besides addressing measures that can be taken to deal with Israel's settlement activity, the landgrab in East Jerusalem and acts of aggression against Al Aqsa Mosque.
Highlighting the Kingdom's efforts to safeguard the holy city and to prevent Israel from altering its Arab identity, the memo said: "The government of Jordan, through the foreign ministry, closely monitors everything that happens in the holy city and undertakes every possible measure in its power to safeguard and protect it."
Historically and under the 1994 peace treaty with Israel, Jordan is officially the custodian of the Muslim holy sites in the occupied city. The 550 awqaf officials tending to Al Haram Al Sharif are on the government's payroll.
The Jordanian delegation emphasised the efforts of the Jerusalem Awqaf Department which works under Jordan's Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in confronting the outrageous acts of the occupation authorities against Al Aqsa Mosque and the awqaf employees.
The department runs and safeguards more than 80 mosques in Jerusalem and oversees everything concerning the lands, real estates and waqf properties which amount to 50 per cent of Jerusalem properties, according to the memo.
The education sector in Jerusalem falls under the umbrella of the awqaf administration, which runs over 40 schools and colleges that house over 13,000 students including the Sharia (Islamic law) schools within Al Haram Al Sharif. Sharia courts in Jerusalem also functions under Jordan's Department of the Chief Islamic Justice, the memorandum pointed out.
Around 350 leading figures concerned with the issue of the holy city of Jerusalem from Arab, Islamic and foreign countries are taking part in the conference.
On the sidelines of the conference, Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Abdul Salam Abbadi said in remarks to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that the event was expected to support the "steadfastness of the holy city residents" and demand the implementation of the decisions taken by recent Arab summits regarding the setting up of a 0.5 billion fund to support Jerusalem. Only 37 million has been collected so far, he noted.