War of words continues between Israeli and Jordanian parliamentary speakers
THOMAS COEX (AFP)
The speaker of the Jordanian parliament responded on Tuesday to Israeli criticism of Jordan's reaction to Friday's Temple Mount attack.
Atef Al-Tarawneh said that the "extremist policies" of Israel, including the establishment of metal detectors for worshipers to pass through at entrance to the site, was a "change that is unacceptable to the status quo."
The Petra website reports that Al-Tarawneh said that the Israeli action "undermines the peace efforts and keeps the door open for the continuation of the resistance."
According to the Al Ghad website, the Jordanian lawmaker also said that his government was keeping track of all the "racist laws passed by the Israeli government since 2015."
Al-Tarawneh also said that Jordan would be taking further steps: "In a few days we will address the Arab and international parliaments to expose Israeli practices and violations."
Speaker of Israel's parliament, Yuli Edelstein, slammed Jordanian Parliament Speaker Atef a-Tarawana on Monday for praising the assailants who carried out a terror attack in Jerusalem last week.
Edelstein said, "Yesterday there was a serious parliamentary event, even a very serious one. While all of us are still hurting from the attack on Friday on [Jerusalem's] Temple Mount, in which two young policemen were murdered, Jordanian Parliament Speaker Atef a-Tarawana stood on in front of parliament and said, "The martyrs are irrigating the pure earth."
The Friday terror attack by three Israeli-Arab assailants left two Israeli Druze policemen dead on the Temple Mount. The Druze faith branched off from Islam hundreds of years ago, and Israeli Druze serve in the army.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in the world for Jews and the third holiest for Muslims.
Since the attack, the Israeli security services have installed metal detectors at all nine gates to the Temple Mount. In response to the change in the status quo, Palestinians and Muslims have boycotted having prayers there.
"It is unthinkable that such a senior figure in a country with which we have a peace agreement will encourage the murder of Israeli citizens," the Knesset speaker said, according to a press release from Edelstein's spokesperson.
Israel and Jordan made peace in 1994, becoming the second neighbor after Egypt to initiate diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.
Edelstein then turned to the speaker of the Jordanian parliament and said, "Mr. Tarawneh, the basic thing that was required of you, as a public figure and as a human being, was to condemn this abominable crime. You were supposed to be one of the first to say: It is strictly forbidden to act violently anywhere - and certainly not to desecrate holy places! And if you don't denounce it - you'd better just shut up!"
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