By Zeyn Halil
JERUSALEM (AA) – Israeli police prevented Jordan's ambassador from entering Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
Officers held up Ghassan Majali and Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, the director-general of the Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem, at the Lion’s Gate entrance and asked them to present permission to enter the site.
The ambassador refused to wait and decided to leave.
Majali reportedly returned three hours later and prayed in Al-Aqsa Mosque and toured the compound.
Jordan summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest the police obstruction of the kingdom’s envoy to Al-Aqsa.
The Israeli police said the Jordanian diplomat was not denied entry but briefly delayed from entering the site, according to public broadcaster KAN.
Jordan has been the official custodian of Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem since 1924 and was publicly acclaimed as the custodian of Jerusalem's holy sites.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina. Jews meanwhile call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.
*Writing by Seda Sevencan