Jordan recalled its ambassador to Israel on Wednesday in protest at what it called “unprecedented Israeli escalation” and “violations” in the city.
Jordan is custodian of the Al-Aqsa mosque, and in charge of looking after it apart from security. The arrangement continued after Israel occupied east Jerusalem in 1967 and it is part of Jordan’s peace treaty signed with Israel in 1994.
Earlier on Wednesday, police entered the mosque and then locked in demonstrators who had thrown stones and firecrackers.
The move was condemned by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. His advisor Mahmoud Al-Habbash said: “Today for the first time, since 1967, Israeli occupation soldiers invaded the mosque and walked on the mosque’s carpet with their shoes. They stayed and shot tear gas and stun grenades and rubber bullets at the worshippers. The continuation of this invasion of the al-Aqsa mosque, will provoke a religious war.”
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samr said officers only entered “several metres “ inside the mosque to remove blockages so they could lock the doors.
Tensions have soared over demands by Jewish hardliners to be able to pray inside the mosque compound and the expansion of Israeli settlement activity in occupied Arab east Jerusalem.