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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Jordanian MPs claim Jerusalem dig violates peace treaty with Israel

Last update - 09:17 15/02/2007   
Jordanian MPs: Jerusalem dig violates peace pact with Israel
By Jonathan Lis and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents and DPA

At least 25 Jordanian lawmakers have signed a petition urging the government to officially declare that Israel has "violated" the peace treaty concluded between the two countries in 1994 by going ahead with excavations near Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque, parliamentary sources said Thursday.
Accordingly, the deputies said, the government should summon the Jordanian ambassador from Tel Aviv and "dismiss" the Israeli ambassador from Amman.
"We hereby urge the government to officially declare that Israel has violated the article 9 of the peace treaty by conducting excavations at al-Aqsa Mosque," the lawmakers said in their memorandum.

Article 9 commits Israel to respect Jordan's role in looking after the Islamic and Christian holy shrines in East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967.
The parliamentary memorandum coincides with Jordanian contacts with Arab and Islamic countries as well as with world powers to put pressure on Israel to halt its construction work at the Temple Mount road leading to al-Aqsa Mosque's Mugrabi Gate.
Jerusalem police prepared for violence around Temple Mount
Jerusalem police are prepared for more violence on and around the Temple Mount to protest the nearby construction work.
The northern branch of the Islamic Movement is planning a large demonstration in East Jerusalem. Leader Sheikh Ra'ad Salah is barred by a restraining order from entering the Old City and plans to deliver his Friday sermon in his protest tent in Wadi Joz.
On Thursday afternoon, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court will rule on the state's request to extend Salah's restraining order by 60 days. At Wednesday's hearing, the police submitted footage from Channel 2 News allegedly showing Salah spitting at police officers. The state said the officers involved testified that Salah had spit at them. Salah is heard calling the police officers "murderers," "occupiers" and "cowards." Another photograph, from a security camera above Dung Gate, shows Salah directing demonstrators last week.
Salah appeared at the hearing without counsel, by choice. He refused to recognize the authority of the court and its rulings. "An Israeli court has no authority to rule on issues connected to Al-Aqsa Mosque," Salah said. "Thus any decision made by this court over keeping me away from Al-Aqsa is null and void."

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