In fresh public rebuke, Jordan condemns Israel for Holy Fire crowd restrictions

Jordan condemned on Sunday Israel’s restrictions on attendance on the “Holy Fire” ceremony on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem a day earlier, the most recent in a collection of current public rebukes by Amman.

“All Israeli measures geared toward limiting the best of Christians to free and unrestricted entry to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to carry out their non secular rites, together with imposing restrictions on the variety of worshipers, are rejected and condemned,” stated spokesman Haitham Abu Al-Ful in a press release launched by the Jordanian Foreign Ministry.

“Israel, the occupying energy, should respect the historic and authorized establishment in Jerusalem and its sacred [sites], and cease all restrictive measures,” the assertion learn.

Thousands of Christians celebrated the Holy Fire ceremony on Saturday amid new restrictions on attendance this yr that Israel stated have been wanted for security.

Several clashes erupted between police and worshipers who have been saved outdoors the compound.

Videos shared on-line confirmed a policeman pushing a person and grabbing him by the throat after he tried to interrupt by a police barrier.

Authorities utilized a security legislation to the Holy Fire ceremony, limiting crowd dimension commensurate with area and the variety of exits.

Israel stated it needs to stop one other catastrophe after a crush at Mount Meron final yr left 45 folks useless in one of many worst disasters within the nation’s historical past.

Israel additionally divided a priestly blessing service for Jews on the Western Wall in the course of the Passover pageant into two providers, once more citing crowding considerations.

Jewish worshipers take part in prayers for Passover on the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, April 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

However, church leaders rejected any restrictions on precept, saying they infringe on non secular freedom.

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, just like the Temple Mount, is ruled by a decades-old set of casual preparations often known as the established order. As on the Temple Mount, recognized to Muslims because the Haram al-Sharif, seemingly minor violations on the church have ignited violence, together with brawls between monks of various denominations.

The condemnation from Amman was the most recent in a lot of steps taken by Jordan towards Israel in current days, albeit largely symbolic ones.

Amman summoned Israel’s ambassador for a dressing down final week after police entered the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount a number of occasions to quash Palestinian riots.

Jordan has accused Israel of violating the established order on the website, beneath which Muslims are allowed to go to and pray whereas Jews can’t pray and should solely go to throughout restricted time slots.

Israel insists that it’s dedicated to the established order and is safeguarding the rights of followers of all three religions in Jerusalem. But police have additionally lately turned a blind eye to Jews quietly praying on the website, in what quantities to a violation of the delicate establishment.

Palestinian throw rocks at Israeli police on the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 22, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

The Temple Mount is the holiest place in Judaism, as the location of the biblical temples. Al-Aqsa Mosque, which sits atop the mount, is the third holiest shrine in Islam.

This yr, main Jewish, Christian, and Muslim holidays have converged, and tensions have soared as tens of 1000’s of individuals flock to Jerusalem’s Old City to go to a number of the holiest websites for all three faiths for the primary time for the reason that lifting of pandemic restrictions.

Israel says it’s dedicated to making sure freedom of worship for Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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