Israel accords with Gulf states may change Al-Aqsa status
August 14, 2020 - A clause in the UAE-Bahrain accords with Israel may open the door for Jews to pray at the Al-Aqsa Compound in violation of the status quo, according to Israeli analysts.
After the 1967 war, Israel and Jordan, the custodian of Al-Haram al-Sharif compound, agreed that while Jews are allowed access to the site, they are not allowed to pray there.
However, Terrestrial Jerusalem, an independent centre that specialises in monitoring the changes and developments taking place in Jerusalem, argues that a clause included in the recent accords between Israel and Gulf Arab states indicates this may no longer be the case.
According to the joint statement between the U.S., Israel, and the UAE released on August 13 by U.S. President Donald Trump: “all Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem's other holy sites should remain open for peaceful worshippers of all faiths.”
The same statement was repeated in the accord with Bahrain, announced on September 11.
Israel defines Al-Aqsa as the mosque structure alone, but Muslims define it as the entire esplanade. The wording of the clause raises fears that Jewish prayers will be allowed inside the compound.
The Al-Aqsa mosque is Islam’s third-holiest site after the Al-Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca and the Al-Masjid An-Nabawi in Medina, both in Saudi Arabia.
- Israel normalisation may partition Al-Aqsa Mosque: Analysts (Al-Jazeera)
- Normalization and the Status Quo on Haram al Sharif/The Temple Mount/Al Aqsa (Terrestrial Jerusalem)
- Israel-UAE deal: Normalisation raises concern over change in status of Al-Aqsa - Report (Middle East Eye)
- How the UAE-Israel deal seeks to impose a 'fait accompli' in Jerusalem (Middle East Eye)