WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Trump administration called on Israel and Jordan to work together to restore calm at the Temple Mount, saying it was “very concerned” about tensions at the Jerusalem holy site following the terrorist shooting there that killed two Israeli police officers.
“The United States is very concerned about tensions surrounding the Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif, a site holy to Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and calls upon the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to make a good faith effort to reduce tensions and to find a solution that assures public safety and the security of the site and maintains the status quo,” the White House said in a statement released late Wednesday evening. “The United States will continue to closely monitor the developments.”
There have been clashes this week between police and Muslims outside the gates to the Temple Mount area.
Police closed the Temple Mount last Friday after the attack that killed two police. It reopened this week with metal detectors and security cameras installed at the gates. Muslim worshippers are boycotting the mosques on the site, among the holiest in Islam, to protest the security measures, although they are commonplace at religious sites in the Middle East, including the adjacent Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Judaism.
The Muslim Waqf, the Islamic trust that oversees the holy site, ostensibly is under the control of Jordan, which has a peace treaty with Israel but has for years deferred on many issues to the local Palestinian leadership.