Jordan House of Representatives votes to expel Israel's ambassador

May 8, 2013 at 8:15 AM
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AMMAN, Jordan, May 8 (UPI) -- Jordan's lower house of Parliament voted unanimously Wednesday to expel Israel's ambassador and recall its own ambassador from Tel Aviv, officials said.

The government of Jordan had yet to respond to the non-binding parliamentary vote, which officials said was in response to the latest wave of what they see as Israeli violations in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, the Jordanian website reported.

Israel had not responded to the vote.

The parliamentarians cited disturbances at the Temple Mount Tuesday as one of the reasons for wanting to expel the Israeli ambassador. They said Israel barred Muslims under the age of 50 from praying at al-Aksa mosque but permitted Jewish settlers to visit the Temple Mount as part of celebrations marking the 46th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, the site said.

Israel police detained Mohammed Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, for questioning Wednesday on suspicion of involvement in Tuesday's disturbances. Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said chairs were thrown at a group of about 40 Jews permitted to enter the Temple Mount under police escort.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour initially opposed the expulsion motion but later brought it before the house, Israel Radio said. Ensour agreed at a meeting before the vote to ask Jordan's ambassador to Israel, Wallid Obeidat, to file an official complaint with the Israeli government as "a first measure," said.

However, Jordanian parliamentarians went one step further and in a unanimous vote called for the expulsion of Israeli Ambassador Daniel Nevo, and the recall of Obeidat, the website said. The Arab and International House committee will formally propose the government uphold the decision, the site said.

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