Jerusalem Awqaf Department Director Azzam Khatib Tamimi has condemned Israel’s violations against the Umayyad Palaces area to the south and southwest of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported on Thursday.And Ammon News adds:
In a letter of protest sent to the occupation force chief in Jerusalem, Tamimi denounced Israel’s violations as an occupation force, stressing that it is legally bound to preserve the status quo before 1967 and honour the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty.
Tamimi demanded that the occupation authorities halt excavations and end the destruction of Arab and Islamic heritage sites.
He called for removing a makeshift metal roof set up in the centre of the Umayyad Palaces site.
Tamimi also called for removing the metal and wooden platforms set up to expand the yards designated for Jewish prayers next to the mosque’s Western Wall. The Israeli authorities decided last week to expand the platforms, according to Petra.
Tamimi, whose team is affiliated with the Awqaf Ministry, stressed the Hashemite custodianship on Al Aqsa Mosque, urging Israel to respect everything related to Al Haram Al Sharif, Islam’s third-holiest shrine.
He concluded with an explicit demand to return the palaces to the jurisdiction of his department.
Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications, Muhammad Momani, on Saturday, voiced the government's condemnation of Israel's violations against the Umayyad Palaces area to the south and southeast of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.Here's the irony:
If it wasn't for those terrible Israeli archaeologists, Jordan would never have known that there were any Umayyad palaces in the area of the Temple Mount to begin with! They were discovered in the 1970s.
Here is a video showing a 3D model of the palaces that was created and paid for by the Israeli Antiquities Authority together with the architecture school at UCLA:
And here is another reconstruction of what the palaces looked like before the earthquake that destroyed them in 749.
Israel has done more to preserve Muslim heritage sites in Jerusalem than Jordan ever did! And the plans for the prayer area will continue to do so.
The second irony: while the Umayyad palaces are impressive, they were partially built with plundered stones from the Temple Mount and Byzantine churches. Here is a lintel from a 5th century church that is on the lower course of stones in the southern Umayyad building:
The Jordanians are insisting that palaces that were built by desecrating Jewish and Christian holy places be considered sacred by the Israeli authorities - when the Israelis have been the ones who have preserved them and made them accessible to the public to begin with.
These same Jordanians, who claim that the entire area should be under their control, were complicit in the catastrophic destruction of priceless archaeological finds when the Waqf excavated thousands of cubic meters of dirt containing numerous priceless items to build a huge underground mosque on the Temple Mount.
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