Analysts say Bahrain’s normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, a statement touted by the United States, could lead to the division of the al-Aqsa complex as it violates the status quo.
According to a report by the NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem (TJ), the statements mark “radical changes in the status quo” and have “far-reaching and potentially explosive effects”.
Under the status quo in 1967, only Muslims could pray within al-Haram al-Sharif, also known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, covering 14 hectares (35 acres).
Non-Muslims can travel but cannot pray on site. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed the status quo in a formal announcement in 2015.
However, a clause included in a recent tone between Israel and the Gulf Arab states indicates that this may no longer occur.
According to a joint statement between the US, Israel and the UAE, it was released on August 13 by US President Donald Trump: “In the approach of peace, all Muslims who come in peace can come and pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. And other holy sites in Jerusalem should be open to peaceful worshipers of all religions. ”
|Bahrain follows UAE to normalize relations with Israel|
But Israel defined al-Aqsa as the structure of a mosque, as stated in the statement, the TJ report clarified.
“According to Israel [and apparently to the United States]The report states that there is nothing on Mt. that defines the structure of the mosque as ‘one of the other holy sites of Jerusalem’ and is open to prayer for all by the Jews.
“This choice of terminology is neither random nor incorrect, and cannot [be] Anything is seen as a deliberate, though deliberate attempt to leave the door wide open to Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, changing the status quo. ”
The same statement was repeated with Bahrain, announced on Friday.
United States, Bahrain State and Israel Joint Statement pic.twitter.com/xMquRkGtpM
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2020
Palestinian lawyer Khalid Zabarqa, an expert on al-Aqsa and Jerusalem cases, called Al Jazeera’s statement “very clearly that the mosque is not subject to Muslim sovereignty”.
“When the United Arab Emirates accepted such a clause, it agreed and gives a green light to Israel’s sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Zaburka said.
“This is a clear and large-scale violation to the international and legal status of al-Aqsa Mosque. [conceived] After the capture of Jerusalem in 1967, which states that everything inside the walls is occupied by Jordan. ”
‘It’s not innocent’
Palestinians have long been concerned over possible attempts to partition the Holy Mosque, as happened with Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque.
Over the years, there has been a growing temple movement, led mostly by the “extreme nationalist religious Jewish right”, which wants to change the status quo, TJ said.
Some offer Jewish prayers in the holy precincts, while others aim to build a third temple above the ruins of the Dome of the Rock, which would faithfully initiate the coming of the Messiah.
The Israeli NGO Ir Amim has published several reports over the years warning of this fringe group, which today is part of the political and religious mainstream and benefits from close ties with Israeli authorities.
These activists believe that allowing Jewish prayer on the premises and dividing the sacred site between Muslims and Jews would be a step towards claiming sovereignty and ultimately achieving their ultimate goal of temple construction.
In recent years, an increasing number of Jews are attempting to pray on the site in violation of the status quo.
|Al Jazeera World – Jerusalem: Dividing Al-Aqsa|
Daniel Seidemann, an Israeli lawyer specializing in the geopolitics of Jerusalem, told Al Jazeera that he was “deeply concerned about what is happening”.
“What we are seeing in Jerusalem is the religion of religious factions that weaponize religion. We are on a trajectory, which will lead us into an illusion.
“We know that these segments are working together, every single word in a joint team from the US and Israel. The transition of the word Haram al-Sharif from Al-Aqsa Mosque is not an accident,” Seidemann said.
A more explicit statement was included in Trump’s “Deal of the Century” plan for the Middle East, unveiled in late January with Netanyahu at the White House.
Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has been the main point man on the proposal, and Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, has been linked to the wording of the deal.
The plan stipulated “the status quo must be continued in the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif”, but the following sentence also states: “People of every faith are allowed to pray on the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif” should be given.” ”
The controversy coincided with controversy, prompting US Ambassador to Israel David Freedman to walk back to a press briefing on 28 January. “There is nothing in the plan that will implement any change of status quo that is not subject to the agreement of all parties,” she said.
A senior US official – familiar with both sides and issues – told Al Jazeera that he “has no doubt that the language in the Israeli-UAE statement was written on Israel’s behalf with a hatred of antecedents, a clear understanding from the Emirate.” Without, and with the complexity of a clear American team ”.
The official said on condition of anonymity, “Trump’s plan consisted of Friedman’s fast-paced Trump’s plan: Dermer probably put it down, Kushner had no clue.”
“The fact that it was Freedman who went back to it instead of the White House also means that the Trump plan language is still official and determines whether push comes to shove … even if Kushner-Freedman Dolls understand Ram, it’s clear that they don’t care. ”
|Tensions overlap in al-Aqsa complex as Muslim, Jewish festivals|
Eddie Vasquez, senior adviser and spokesman at the US State Department, cited an fact sheet published in an email to Al Jazeera after the release of the “deal of the century” stating that the status quo would be preserved.
One point said, “All Muslims are welcome to attend the Al-Aqsa Mosque peacefully.” But there was no explanation as to why the term al-Aqsa Mosque was used instead of Haram al-Sharif among the accused along with the UAE and Bahrain.
‘Israel’s sovereignty over al-Aqsa’
The normalization agreements come in the form of Israeli officials, who recently placed loudspeakers on the eastern and western sides of the al-Aqsa complex without Waqf’s permission.
The sacred complex is administered by the Islamic Waqf sitting in Jordan. As the status quo, Israel is responsible for security outside the gates.
Al-Aqsa compound director Omar Kiswani said, “The Israeli police said it is for security reasons, but we don’t really see this security reason.”
“We consider this action an attempt to exert control over the al-Aqsa mosque and weaken the role of the Waqf in the mosque,” Kiswani said.
Zabarca said that Jordan, as the site’s patron, “has no power to deal with the occupation.” [authorities]”.
“I think Jordan needs to make a change and make new allies with Turkey. It will have to use financial and diplomatic relations with Israel to pressurize it, but it seems to stand with the Americans Is quite weak, “said Zabara.
TJ noted in its report that there was no mention in the agreement of Waqf and its autonomous role.
He said, “The Muslim claims of Haram al-Sharif / Al-Aqsa are being changed from proprietorship to ‘al-Aqsa as a’ welcome guest ‘with the right to come and pray.”
Zabarca said the section is “groundbreaking for Israeli-American fiction” and believes that “the UAE accepted to spear it”.
Zabarqa noted in 2014 that the UAE was involved in the transfer of over 30 illegal Israeli buildings in occupied Sylvan East Jerusalem.
“It shows us a clear role that the Emirate played in altering the status quo recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over al-Aqsa to another,” Zaburka said.
Seideman said that when Imrati and Bahrain will attend the ceremony on Tuesday at the White House to sign a “historic declaration” by Trump with Israel, they should be assured of retaining the status quo.
“You will need to say to Kushner and Netanyahu: ‘I believe what I said in 2015.” He has been told that he has not done so for the last two weeks. It is not innocent.
“It’s a landmine. The Trump administration and Netanyahu are going to the next administration, the next Israeli government. They are tampering with the Haram al-Sharif / Al-Aqsa / Temple Mount. It will light a fuse,” Seidman said.
“The fuse can be a long fuse, but it will fly and it’s not too late to stop it from flying.”
With reporting in possession by Dareen Jubeh East Jerusalem