Foreign diplomats visit the Al-Aqsa mosque in support for upholding 'status quo'

Foreign diplomats visit the Al-Aqsa mosque in support for upholding 'status quo'
2 min read
Jerusalem
18 January, 2023
A large delegation of foreign diplomats met with Palestinian and Islamic Awqaf officials at the Al-Aqsa Mosque/ Haram al-Sharif in an apparent show of support for upholding the status quo and Jordan's custodianship of holy sites in occupied Jerusalem
Diplomats from EU and European countries, South America and Australia toured the compound and held a meeting with Islamic clerics on Wednesday morning. [Ibrahim Husseini/TNA]

A large delegation of foreign diplomats met with Palestinian and Islamic Awqaf officials at the Al-Aqsa Mosque (also known as Haram al-Sharif) in an apparent show of support for upholding the status quo and Jordan's custodianship of holy sites in occupied East Jerusalem. 

Diplomats from EU and European countries, South America and Australia toured the compound and held a meeting with Islamic clerics on Wednesday morning. 

The visit comes at the heels of several provocative incidents by Israel, including the storming of the compound by Israel's far-right security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and hindering of visits of two diplomats, including the Jordanian ambassador to Tel Aviv. 

"They came to witness and hear about the happenings here at the Al-Aqsa, the visits by Ben-Gvir and other provocations by Israeli officials," Mufti Muhammad Husseini to The New Arab

Sven Kuehn Von Burgsdorff, head of the visiting delegation, declined to comment about the visit. 

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A day earlier, the Israeli police obstructed the visit of Jordan's ambassador to Tel Aviv to the holy site claiming the visit was not coordinated in advance. 

The ambassador left the site in protest but returned later and entered without incident. 

The director of the Islamic Awqaf stressed that the ambassador returned to the site without coordination with the Israeli police. 

"What we want is a return to the historical status of before 1967. This is what we tell visiting diplomats," Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, the director of the Islamic Awqaf, told reporters at the site. 

Israel occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in the 1967 war, and since has illegally annexed the territories in a move neither recognised by international law nor most of the international community.