Palestinian youths practice their parkour skills in Jerusalem's Old City
Palestinian youths practice their parkour skills in Jerusalem's Old CityReuters

Jordan has threatened to review a 1994 peace treaty with Israel after the Knesset began discussions on allowing Jewish prayers in the Haram al-Sharif (The Noble Sanctuary) compound, which contains the al-Aqsa mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur said that if Israel violates the peace treaty on the issue "the entire treaty, its articles, details and wording will be put on the table".

The Haram al-Sharif site has been administered by an Islamic Waqf (trust), under the authority of Jordan, since the crusades.

Last year, Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas signed an agreement that confirmed Jordan's authority over Jerusalem's Muslim holy sites.

The PM's remarks came after Jordan's parliament passed a motion to urge the removal of Israel's ambassador to the kingdom, Daniel Nevo, over the issue.

"Such Israeli attempts would lead to the destruction of the peace treaty as the international community is pushing for peace between Israel and the Palestinians," government spokesman Mohammad Momnai told Petra news agency.

"The Jordanian custodianship is not a privilege granted by Israel. It is the Hashemites' historic responsibility that is emphasised in the peace treaty."

Israeli police and border police officers scuffle with a Palestinian who is trying to enter the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City
Israeli police and border police officers scuffle with a Palestinian who is trying to enter the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City.Reuters

Israeli MKs started debating calls by rightwingers of the pro-settler Jewish Home party, demanding that Israel ends its ban on Jewish prayers in the site.

The compound, known to Jews as Temple Mount, sits just above the Western Wall plaza, where Jews are allowed to pray and is under direct Israeli control.

Temple Mount is considered the most holy site for Jews, as it is the place where God chose the Divine Presence to rest. According to scripture, it is where God gathered dust to create Adam, and also the location where Abraham tied up Isaac. It was also the place where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

According to mainstream Judaism, Jews are forbidden from entering Temple Mount for fear they would stumble upon and profane the "Holy of Holies," or the inner sanctum of the Second Temple.

The Mount is Islam's third holiest site after Mecca and Medina. It is considered to be the place where Muhammad travelled to Jerusalem and ascended to heaven.

Palestinian worshipers pray in front of the Dome of the Rock, in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem early August 4, 2013, during Lailat-Al-Qadr, or Night of Power, in which the Muslim holy book of Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad by Allah. (Ph
Palestinian worshipers pray in front of the Dome of the Rock, in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem early August 4, 2013, during Lailat-Al-Qadr, or Night of Power, in which the Muslim holy book of Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad by Allah. (Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

Last year, Arab-Israeli Members of the Knesset were expelled from a parliamentary meeting to discuss plans for the Haram al-Sharif. They were protesting against what they perceive as a desecration of the site, which has recently been stormed several times by Jewish extremists.

They warned that allowing Jewish prayer in the compound would trigger "a third intifada" or Palestinian uprising.

Israeli police clashed with Palestinian protesters ahead of the Knesset debate. Hardline MK Moshe Feiglin, of the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, said Israel's fear of triggering Muslim rage is a discrimination against Jews.

"Any terror organisation can raise its flag there (but) there can be no trace of the Israeli flag," Feiglin told the Knesset. "Only Jews are forbidden to pray at this place."