Wednesday, January 18, 2023



The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reports that a delegation from the EU visited the Temple Mount this morning, where they politely listened to anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda spouted by the head of the Waqf, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib.

The delegation included 35 representatives and consuls from the European Union. 

Al-Khatib "stressed the importance of their visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque as an Islamic mosque under the tutelage of King Abdullah II, the guardian of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Al-Quds Al-Sharif."

Al-Khatib accompanied the 35 representatives and consuls on a tour where he described "the occupation’s attempt to change the status quo" on the site. 

He then told them that the only ones that should be changing the status quo were the Muslims, claiming that there were many Hashemite construction projects there that Israel prevents from being completed.

In a sane world, new construction projects on the Temple Mount would be considered a violation of the status quo. 

Al Khatib then described his description of the status quo: he called for a "return to the historic status quo of the mosque as an Islamic mosque for Muslims alone, with its 144 dunams, with all its prayer corners, courtyards and complexes, below the ground and above it."

According to Jordan News, the delegation aimed to "confirm European support for the legal and historical status quo of the holy site and its Hashemite Custodianship." 

No one seemed to disagree with the Waqf's definition of that status quo as not allowing any Jews to ascend.


The signed agreement between Jordan and Israel does not give the Hashemites custodianship over the Temple Mount. It says "Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines."

Which means that Israel makes the decisions, while respecting and giving priority to Jordanian wishes. But the language makes it clear that the ultimate decisions are up to Israel.

Notice also that the agreement says nothing about Jordanian influence on Christian sites, which al-Khatib claimed are under Waqf custodianship as well.

I doubt that anyone from this delegation has ever read the actual agreement, which is the only document that matters under international law - an agreement that explicitly gives Jews "freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance."

(h/t Ibn Boutros)





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