Jordan, Israel in row over Jerusalem

Tensions rise after Israel's ambassador to Jordan reportedly says Jordanians do not take their parliament seriously.

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    Israeli incursions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque site, over which Jordan has custody, have inflamed tensions [AFP]
    Israeli incursions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque site, over which Jordan has custody, have inflamed tensions [AFP]

    Amman, Jordan - Diplomatic tensions are rising between Jordan and Israel, as Jordan this week summoned Daniel Nevo, Israel's ambassador to Jordan, for his "disparaging remarks" about the country's parliament.

    The summoning came after Nevo reportedly told the Israeli army radio station that Jordanians do not take their parliament seriously and "think their parliamentarians are only concerned about marginal things and their own personal interests".

    His remarks were in reference to Jordanian parliamentarians observing a minute of silence and citing the first chapter of the Quran in remembrance of the two Palestinians shot dead after their attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem. 

    Any insult to any Jordanian institution is a gross violation of all diplomatic norms.

    - Ashraf Khasawneh, foreign ministry spokesperson

    Foreign ministry spokesperson Ashraf Khasawneh called the ambassador's comments "unacceptable and inexcusable".

    "Any insult to any Jordanian institution is a gross violation of all diplomatic norms," Khasawneh said in a statement carried by the state news agency, Petra.

    Nevo's remarks, which Israeli officials have neither denied nor confirmed, have angered parliamentarians and government officials, who deemed it an "insult to the Jordanian society and government".

    "He is not welcomed here by the Jordanian people, so how could he allow himself to speak on their behalf?" Yahya Saud, the head of parliament's Palestine solidarity committee, told Al Jazeera.

    Saud said he and other parliamentarians were calling for an apology from Israel and the expulsion of Nevo.

    Earlier this month, Jordan recalled Walid Obeidat, its ambassador in Tel Aviv, to protest against "escalating Israeli attacks" on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Obeidat still has not returned.

    Jordan has had legal custodianship over Al-Aqsa since 2013, which analysts cite as the reason for Jordan's strong response to Israeli incursions at the site.

    "Attacks on Al-Aqsa are seen as immediate attacks on Jordan's people and its leadership, and that is what angered officials," said Oraib Rantawi of the Al Quds Centre for Political Studies in Amman.

    Jordanian officials were not immediately available for comment.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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