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                                        Volume. 12073

Jordan MPs vote to expel Israeli ambassador
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_Jordan99.jpgJordan's parliament has voted unanimously to expel the Israeli ambassador and recall its own envoy, after Israeli lawmakers debated whether to take over a Jerusalem holy site administered by Jordanians.

According to AP, the vote by acclamation Wednesday in the 150-seat parliament is not binding to the Cabinet, which is keen to maintain diplomatic ties with Israel.

The discussion initiated Tuesday by the Likud Party's Moshe Feiglin asks whether the Zionist state should wrest control of Muslim holy shrines from Jordan, which was given a "special" role over the area in a 1994 peace treaty with Israel. The debate ended without a vote.

A Jordanian Cabinet official said no action regarding parliament's call is expected before the outcome of the Israeli Knesset debate. He insisted on anonymity, citing the matter's sensitivity.

The MPs have also called for a 1994 peace treaty with Israel to be scrapped, a daily reported Wednesday.

The government-owned Al-Rai newspaper said 47 out of 150 members of the lower house signed a motion late Tuesday that the treaty be annulled.

"The motion came in response to Israel's actions in Jerusalem and to the Knesset debate of a law that seeks to impose Israel's sovereignty over Al-Aqsa," Al-Rai quoted MPs as saying in the motion.

Under the peace treaty, Jordan is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

"Israel's actions clearly violate the peace treaty... it is aggression against Jordanian custodianship," the motion said.

Al-Rai said the lower house will discuss "the repercussions of the debate later Wednesday".

Moshe Feiglin, a hard-line member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, said Israel's fear of igniting Muslim rage amounted to discrimination against Jews.

The Jordanian government has so far not commented.

But Jordan's opposition Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, urged the government on Tuesday to freeze the peace deal.

"The custodianship is a Jordanian national interest and a sacred religious duty," said the IAF, the main opposition party.

Israeli police on Tuesday entered the compound to disperse stone-throwing Palestinian protesters, with an Israeli police spokesman speaking of "high tension".

The Al-Aqsa compound, which lies in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem's Old City, is a flashpoint because of its significance to both Muslims and Jews.
Sitting above the Western Wall plaza, it houses the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques and is Islam's third-holiest site.

It is claimed to be Judaism's holiest place, being the site of the first and second Jewish temples.


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