Jordan announces resumption of Al-Aqsa Mosque restoration work

Jordan has announced the resumption of reconstruction and restoration work at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city of Jerusalem starting on Wednesday morning, following an Israeli obstruction lasting four days.

This came during a meeting held on Wednesday between Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and members of the Palestine Committee of Jordan's House of Representatives, broadcast by state television.

Safadi addressed his country's: "Firm and supportive position towards the Palestinian cause, and the daily and continuous coordination with the Palestinians in this regard."

He added that the resumption of restoration and reconstruction work at Al-Aqsa Mosque resulted from diplomatic efforts on the part of the Jordanians.

In Jerusalem, Head of Al-Aqsa Mosque Reconstruction Committee Bassam Al-Hallaq confirmed that Israeli police notified on Wednesday morning that the restoration work could be resumed.

"For four days, we were completely prevented (by the occupation authorities) from carrying out any restoration work at Al-Aqsa Mosque, including very necessary and urgent tasks, without informing us of the reasons," Al-Hallaq told Anadolu Agency.

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He added: "I was contacted today and informed that we could resume the restoration work and bring in the reconstruction materials."

Al-Hallaq pointed out that many of Al-Aqsa Mosque's facilities need repair, especially with the onset of winter and the rainy season.

Israeli forces raided the Dome of the Rock shrine on Sunday, prevented workers from completing the marble restoration work and repairs of the internal stilts of the mosque, and threatened them with deportation and arrest if they continued to work.

The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf Islamic religious trust conveyed in a statement that: "The police shut down the work of Al-Aqsa construction department and prevented the restoration of important sites that need immediate repair."

According to international law, the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, affiliated with the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf Islamic Affairs and Holy Places, is the official supervisor of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the endowments of Jerusalem, which considers Jordan the last local authority overseeing the Palestinian sanctities before it was occupied by Israel.

Jordan still maintains the exclusive right to supervise religious affairs in Jerusalem according to the Wadi Araba peace agreement signed between Amman and Tel Aviv in 1994.