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July 23, 2016 / 17 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Amman’

Jordan Arrests Terror Suspect in ‘Individual and Isolated’ Attack on Intelligence HQ

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

A suspected terrorist has been arrested by Jordanian authorities following Monday’s attack on the nation’s secret police headquarters in northern suburb of Amman.

Three intelligence officers, a secretary and a guard were murdered early Monday morning at the site, located in Baqa’a, home to 100,000 people. Baqa’a is located 21 kilometers (13 miles) north of Amman.

According to Jordanian government spokesperson Mohammad al-Momani, initial investigation reports indicate the murders were an “individual and isolated act.” Momani offered no further details.

The population of Baqa’a, often referred to as a “refugee camp” is comprised mostly of Arabs who fled Israel during the 1948 War of Independence and their generations of descendants, all of whom have to this day insisted on continuing to register with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) as “refugees” – nearly 70 years later.

Hana Levi Julian

5 Dead in Terror Attack on Jordanian Intelligence Headquarters

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Five members of the General Intelligence Department (GID) were killed early Monday in an attack at the headquarters of the secret police in Baqa’a, a northern suburb of Amman.

The attack on the security office, about 21 kilometers (13 miles) north of Amman, took place on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, said government spokesman Mohammad Momani, Minister of State for Media Affairs. The killers escaped and remain unidentified.

“The cowardly attack on the security office in the first day of Ramadan shows the criminal behavior of the terrorists,” Momani said in a statement.

The attack occurred shortly before 7 am local time. Three of the five victims were intelligence officers; the others were a guard and a receptionist at the office, according to The Guardian newspaper.

More than 100,000 people live in Baqa’a, including many who fled the 1948 war against the newly reborn State of Israel by its Arab neighbors, and the generations of descendants.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier this year, a number of Da’esh (ISIS) supporters were killed in a security operation carried out by Jordanian government troops in the northern city of Irbid.

Hana Levi Julian

Jordan’s King Dissolves Parliament, Stifles Riots Over Approval of Israeli Investment

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Jordan’s King Abdullah II dissolved his country’s Parliament by royal decree on Sunday, and accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Abbdullah Ensour.

Reuters reported it was the end of the legislative body’s four-year term. But the move also had the effect of breaking week-long protests, and riots on Friday by hundreds of residents in the ancient city of Petra — a major tourist attraction — where Jordanians allegedly were rampaging over “fraudulent investments,” according to the English-language Jordan Times.

Veteran politician Hani Mulqi was appointed to become Jordan’s new prime minister, and charged by King Abdullah to set up new elections in October.

The decree came barely a week after an extraordinary session in which the Jordanian Parliament voted to allow Israeli companies to invest in the country. At the time, the king endorsed the decision and issued a decree to end the session at the end of last week, according to Albawaba. The vote was considered very controversial and there was widespread public outcry following the session. Specifically, the Jordanian Parliament voted not to exclude Israel from its National Investment Fund.

Originally, last Sunday morning (May 22) Parliament members had voted to exclude Israel from the Jordanian Investment Fund. But in the evening session, a re-vote was called, and the majority of parliament members instead voted to allow Israeli involvement.

“In a particularly shocking turn in the struggle over the new investment law, several vocally pro-Palestine politicians voted in favor of trade with Israel,” Albawaba reported.

“Among them was Rodaina Al Ati, a member of Jordan’s Palestine Committee who has made a name for herself by supporting the Palestinian cause. Jordan’s Arab Progressive Baath Party expelled Al Ati for her vote, and social media users launched a campaign of ridicule and criticism against her.”

The Jordanian Investment Law establishes the Jordan Investment Fund, which oversees development projects and those which foreign funds can invest in. The decision to allow Israel to participate in the fund was seen as a blow to the BDS (boycott, divest and sanctions) movement.

The primary opposition to the monarchy in Jordan is that of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

However, according to Reuters it was tribal lawmakers who has dominated the last parliament, resisting any change that might have undermined their influence or sabotaged their ability to control the legislative body. The system favors those tribal regions which are sparsely populated and which benefit most from state patronage, and the support of the monarchy, Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper pointed out.

The reversal of the original decision has provoked outrage in Jordan, inasmuch as it also enables foreign companies to invest in Jordan.

Hana Levi Julian

Jordanian Parliament Boycotts Israeli Delegation: “We Don’t Recognize the Peace Treaty”

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Parliament Speaker Atef Tarawneh announced on Tuesday that the Jordanian Parliament has refused to approve the attendance of an Israeli delegation at an international summit held in Jordan this week. Tarawneh added that the parliament called on the organizers of the summit to shun any Israeli representation at the event, Jordanian media reported.

He explained at a press conference that the Jordanian Parliament is demonstrating through this step that it holds a position different than that of the official Jordanian stance on the peace agreement with Israel. While the leadership’s policy is to maintain the peace agreement, the House of Representatives boycotts Israel and treats it as an enemy state.

The 2016 Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum is scheduled to begin in Amman on Wednesday, marking the first time it has been hosted in the Middle East. According to the organizers of the forum, some 260 female politicians and parliamentary figures, including heads of state, former European and African prime ministers, and ministers from 89 countries have confirmed that they will attend the event.

Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994, which resolved the territorial disputes between the countries and included water-sharing agreements. The countries signed a trade treaty in 1996, and economic ties since then have developed and grown. Two years ago, Israel and Jordan signed a $500 million natural gas deal effective for 15 years.

Israel’s security and intelligence ties with Jordan are more discreet, but have likewise strengthened and developed, especially since the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 and the rise of the Islamic State.

Relations have also hit some rocky spots in recent years, however, especially over Jewish access to the Temple Mount compound. Jordan has repeatedly demanded that Israel prevent religious Jews from entering the site, which is holy to Jews and to Muslims, and has even recalled its ambassador over the issue in the past.

Moreover, the Jordanian people, comprised mostly of self-identified “Palestinians”, mostly oppose the peace treaty and reject any form of normalization with Israel.

The recent announcement by the speaker of the parliament reflects this position and it remains to be seen whether King Abdullah and his successors will continue to maintain ties with Israel in the future or if they will concede to public opinion at some point.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Jordan Warns Israel to Block Jews from Visiting Temple Mount

Monday, April 25th, 2016

The government of Jordan warned Israel on Sunday there would be “grave repercussions” if Jews continue to ascend to the Temple Mount to visit Judaism’s holiest site over the Passover holiday.

Officials in Amman issued a statement warning of “grave repercussions of break-ins by groups of Israeli settlers and occupation forces into Al Aqsa Mosque/ Al Haram Al Sharif,” The Jordan Times reported.

“Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Mohammad Momani said the violations by the Israeli occupation forces and settlers against worshipers at Al Aqsa Mosque / Al Haram Al Sharif constitute a breach of international laws and conventions, warning that such practices will lead to grave repercussions.”

The minister, who also serves as spokesperson for the Amman government, told the official Petra News Agency in a statement that Jordan “called on the occupation forces to immediately cease such practices and to prevent Israeli settlers and occupation forces from entering the yards of the holy mosque.”

Momani also “called on the occupation forces to allow Palestinian worshipers to enter the holy mosque and to allow them to perform their religious rituals… Occupation authorities have increased security in Jerusalem for the eight-day Passover festival, during which thousands of Jews come to the city to celebrate,” he added.

Any Israeli Jew — in fact, any Jew — is defined as a “settler” — by most Arab officials. The Israeli government is always referred to as the “occupation forces” and the site of the Temple Mount in its entirety, grounds and all, is referred to as the “Al Aqsa Mosque / Al Haram Al Sharif.”

Jordan seems somehow to forget that its own forces just barely occupied the ancient site for the blink of an eye, less than two decades (1948 to 1967).

The lives of the People of Israel have been intimately interwoven with its history for millenia — as proven by the archaeological artifacts constantly being discovered even in today’s dust.

None of this is new, and in fact it is getting really, really old.

Jordan has never really accepted these facts – nor has the rest of the international community – or for that matter, the reality that Israel reasserted its ownership over the territory because it won the defensive war forced upon it by its hostile Arab neighbors, including Jordan, in 1967.

That, despite Israeli officials repeatedly having warned Amman to stay out of the conflict in order to avoid having to fight a neighbor with whom relations were more or less neutral, if not positive.

The fact that the government of Jordan had used much of Judaism’s holiest site, Islam’s “third holiest site” as a latrine and garbage dump simply escapes international memory.

Had the so-called Jewish “invaders” back then and today been Da’esh (ISIS) fighters the holy site probably would have been obliterated and there would be nothing to discuss.

Instead it was the Jewish State who extended its hand in peace and conciliation. Israel offered the Jordanian Islamic Waqf control over the Temple Mount area despite its status as Judaism’s holiest site and kept complete control over the Western Wall for Israel.

And Jordan has proved itself to be among those of the Biblical Ishmael: as is the nature of Arab nations, the hand offered in peace was bitten and then swallowed up to the elbow. Today the Temple Mount has become a safe zone for Muslim clerics to freely incite against Israel and Jews.

Hana Levi Julian

US Secy John Kerry, PA Leader Mahmoud Abbas to Meet in Jordan

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in Jordan on Sunday, according to the U.S. State Dept.

Kerry arrived in Amman on Saturday. The Secretary had meetings scheduled with Jordanian monarch King Abdullah II and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

Among the items on the agenda is the situation in Syria and the increasing impact the war is having on the Hashemite Kingdom.

Kerry and Judeh are scheduled to meet Sunday morning before the Secretary is to visit the king for a discussion on the military campaign against Da’esh (ISIS) in Syria.

According to Amnesty International, Jordan currently hosts approximately 635,324 refugees from Syria, about 10 percent of its own population.

More than 4.5 million refugees have fled Syria and are to be found in five host countries: Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt.

Kerry also discussed the Syria crisis with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Saturday morning in London, prior to his trip to Jordan.

State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at a briefing the two men discussed efforts to broker a partial cease-fire in Syria, and ways to get humanitarian aid to civilians trapped and starving in villages and towns that are still under siege.

Hana Levi Julian

Jordan Adds to Western Wall Mixed-Gender Prayer Controversy

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Jordan is demanding that Israel “return jurisdiction” over part of the Western Wall to the Islamic Waqf controlled by Amman.

The demand followed the decision by the Israeli government last week to set aside the southernmost section of the Wall, known as Robinson’s Arch, as a place for mixed-gender prayer. Jordan refers to the same place as the “Umayyad Palaces.”

Jordan contends that the decision violates the jurisdiction of the Waqf Islamic Authority over Jerusalem’s holy places, an agreement made between the two countries in 1967.

On Saturday, Jordanian Minister of Communications and Media Affairs Muhammad Momani “urged Israel not to meddle with the Umayyad Palaces area and to ensure its return under the jurisdiction of the Jordanian Jerusalem Waqf Department, which is the entity responsible for administering and safeguarding the site,” the Jordan news agency Petra reported in the Jordan Times.

“Israeli occupation forces have recently settled internal differences among followers of different Jewish sects at the expense of the area of the Umayyad Palaces,” Petra said.

“Israeli occupation forces had decided to expand a platform to allow more Jewish worshippers into the area. The violation against the Umayyad Palaces is the latest in a long series of assaults and violations against the site. Occupation forces have carried out several excavation works there, destroying Arab and Islamic heritage,” Petra added on behalf of Jordan’s government.

Israel’s government approved plans last week to expand the Western Wall plaza in order to accommodate the increasing demands for non-Orthodox prayer at the site. A small wooden platform at Robinson’s Arch has already been set up for mixed-gender prayer.

Jordan’s lamentation over Israeli “occupation” is a bit spurious, given the Hashemite tenure itself as custodian over parts of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria lasted only from 1948 to 1967 – a total of 31 years.

Jerusalem has long since been reunited and whole for a period much longer than that: June 2017 will mark half a century since the restoration of the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and elsewhere in Jerusalem and the Land to the Jewish State of Israel.

However, to be fair, the dismay of the Hashemite Kingdom over the compromise over non-Orthodox prayer allowed by the government is also reflected among some Muslims in Israel and ironically is shared with some observant Jews locally and globally as well.

Mixed-gender prayer has never been allowed at the Western Wall – in fact, historically it was not allowed in either Holy Temple. In Torah law, women are not counted among a minyan (quorum) of men.

Not that this grants validity to the Jordanian claim of authority and hopes to win Waqf control of the site, which is more of a simple attempt at another political territory grab.

The Umayyad Palaces were two buildings which archaeologists say were built by the Umayyads who ruled for a period of 100 years in the late seventh century. They were destroyed in an earthquake and lay buried until they were unearthed by Israeli archaeologists in a 1970s excavation, creating a public history park to educate all.

The Western Wall is part of Judaism’s most sacred site on the planet, the Temple Mount, located alongside. The site is also the third holiest in Islam. The Wall is part of the outer retaining wall of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, its sole material remnant that has survived throughout the centuries. In Islam, it is believed that the prophet Mohammed rose up to Heaven on his mighty steed el-Buraq from a site near the Western Wall.

In Judaism, it is believed that somewhere on the grounds of the Temple Mount lies the site of the “Holy of Holies” of the two Holy Temples of Jerusalem – the inner sanctum where the High Priest (Kohen Gadol) communed with G-d Himself during sacrifices and services. No one other than the Kohen Gadol was ever allowed to enter this place, and to this day countless rabbis forbid Jews to tread upon the Temple Mount grounds for fear of erroneously entering this area.

The Israeli government does not allow Jews to pray within the Temple Mount in accordance with a status quo agreement with the Jordanian Waqf. Within the Temple Mount grounds are built the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, where Muslims are allowed to pray.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jordan-adds-to-western-wall-mixed-gender-prayer-controversy/2016/02/07/

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