Israel will not acquiesce to Jordan’s request to increase the number of Waqf officials on the Temple Mount, a senior political official told Makor Rishon on Sunday in response to an inquiry regarding King Abdullah’s demands from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to Amman a week and a half ago.
Since Netanyahu’s re-election, Jordanian officials have expressed their concern about “changing the status quo on the Temple Mount,” which Netanyahu has promised would not happen. The Jordanians for their part did not observe the status quo on the Temple Mount and in recent years helped build a new mosque at the Gate of Mercy and demanded that Israel allow the increase in the number of Waqf personnel on the mountain.
The official confirmed that King Abdullah raised the issue of the Temple Mount during the conversation and that Netanyahu answered that “there’s reality and there’s spin – there is no change and there will be no change in the status quo on the Temple Mount. The Holy of Holies is the Holy of Holies,” the official said.
Regarding the ascent of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to the mountaintop, the Israeli side told the Jordanians that this was not about changing the status quo, seeing as previous internal security ministers had also ascended the mountain.
During the visit, when the Jordanian King asked Netanyahu to increase the number of Waqf personnel on the mountain, according to another political source, Netanyahu clarified: “There will be no such thing.”