Jordan is completely opposed to granting Jews any space to pray on the Temple Mount, a senior Jordanian official told Jordanian news outlet Al-Ghad Al-Ordoni on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Jordanian outlet, Abdul Nasser Nasser, Jordan’s top legal adviser for Islamic and Christian property in Jerusalem, said Amman had rejected an Israeli request to give Jewish worshippers a limited, several-meters space on the Temple Mount grounds in which to pray.

“Jordan will never allow extremist Jews to enter the courtyards of the holy Al-Aqsa mosque to pray or allow their presence in any part of the 144 dunams (35.6 acres), which belong solely to Muslims,” said Nassar.

He said the request was part of the Israeli “partition scheme” over the Al-Aqsa waqf and the greater ambition to “Judaize” Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in a meeting with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb in Cairo on Monday, said the Palestinians’ stance on Jerusalem would not change regardless of the direction peace talks with Israel take.

“The most important stance we have is that Jerusalem must be the capital of the state of Palestine, and His Highness [Al-Tayeb] has ensured that this should be our goal, and that we should all strive to keep the third holy spot for Muslims [Al-Aqsa Mosque] safe and sound in the hands of the Muslim community,” Abbas said at a press conference in Cairo.

Abbas’ visit to the Egyptian capital was seen as an attempt by the Palestinian Authority to gain Egyptian backing in its ongoing negotiations with Israel; the Palestinian delegation also included chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Though the meeting was held behind closed doors, statements afterward revealed that Abbas told Tayeb Egypt was the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds, and Tayeb responded that the Palestinian issue would remain at the center of the Arab world in general, and Egypt specifically.

Abbas arrived in Cairo on Saturday for a three-day visit to meet Egyptian leaders and discuss the current negotiations with Israel as well as prospective reconciliation efforts with Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.

By Reuters and Israel Hayom

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