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Israel's plan to change mosques slammed

King Abdullah II of Jordan has warned against any attempt to undermine the Islamic holy shrines in Jerusalem.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2007 12:18 IST

Jordan's King Abdullah II denounced what he called Israeli attempts "to change the Islamic stamp" of Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest shrine in Islam, according to an official statement.

"The monarch warned against any attempt to undermine Islamic holy shrines in Jerusalem," the statement from the royal court said Sunday.

The king made the remark during a meeting at the royal palace with Arab legislators at the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, the statement said.

King Abdullah in particular condemned the latest Israeli plan to "demolish the Magharebah Gate road, which is close to the western wall of the Al-Aqsa mosque and forms an integral part of the shrine," the statement said.

Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated at the Al-Aqsa mosque Sunday to protest the scheme, which is widely perceived in the Arab world as part of Israel's alleged attempts to demolish the mosque to rebuild the biblical Solomon Temple in its place.

Earlier in the day, the Jordanian Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs issued a statement urging governments and organisations of the world to "intervene immediately to stop the dangerous Israeli practices, including a plan by the Israeli government to remove a hill near the Magharebah Gate".

The panel charged that the Israeli move was designed to benefit from the inter-Palestinian fighting in the Gaza Strip.

"This is a flagrant aggression on an Islamic shrine and on Jordan's sovereignty over it, a violation of the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty and a challenge for the UN resolutions," the panel said in its statement.

Under the peace pact, which Jordan concluded with Israel in 1994, the Jewish state recognised Amman's sovereignty over both Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem as well as Jordan's right to look after them.

Arab East Jerusalem was part of the Hashemite kingdom when Israel occupied the holy city in 1967. In a series of resolutions since then, the UN rejected as null and void Israel's annexation of the eastern part of the holy city.