Jordan Blames Israel for Temple Mount Riots


JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel cut short his visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City Sunday when Arab youth began pelting police officers with rocks.

Jordan accused Ariel, a member of the Jewish Home party (Beit HaYehudi), of inciting the rioting.

"Jordan rejects Israeli escalation in al-Aksa as well as measures that allow radicals to violate al-Aksa under protection of police and occupation forces," Jordan's minister of information said in a statement, YNet reported. "These actions will lead to more violence and religious extremism in the region."

It's not unusual for Jordan to blame Israel for Arab rioting on the Temple Mount.

Despite the good working relationship between Jordan's King Abdullah II and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jordan, like other Arab countries in the region, finds it prudent to approve those protesting the "occupation."

Israel regained sovereignty over Jerusalem, as well as Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), from Jordan following the 1967 Six-Day War.

At that time, Israel allowed the Islamic religious trust (Wakf) to retain supervision over the day-to-day activities on the Temple Mount, while Israel assumed responsibility for security.

When Arabs riot on the Temple Mount, Israel Police deploys its officers there, in part to protect tourists as well as Jews praying at the Western Wall below.

The Wakf forbids non-Muslims from praying on the Temple Mount, and the Israeli government goes along with the edict ostensibly to curb rioting.

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