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Israeli Knesset speaker to Jordanian head of parliament: Shut up

Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein addresses the UN at the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s World Conference of Speakers of Parliament, August 31, 2015
Shahar Azran
The Jordanian lawmaker had praised the three attackers who killed two policemen on the Temple Mount on Friday

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!"

The head of the Palestinian Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas, condemned Friday's attack, along with local Israeli-Arab political leaders.

Edelstein added that he regularly meets parliamentary leaders from all over the world. It is a goal, he says, to create a framework for regional cooperation with his counterparts in Arab countries.

"The kind of statements that were heard yesterday from your mouth far outweigh this goal, and we can only regret it," the Knesset speaker added.


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