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Will waqf expansion strengthen Jordan’s control of Jerusalem holy sites?

The Jerusalem Waqf Council is now witnessing changes after years of no activity. With the change of names and an increase in the number of representatives, is the council now more or less representative of the Palestinians?
Israeli policemen check the ID of an employee before he enters Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on March 23, 2020, due to its closure following the Waqf decision in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

After years of the Jerusalem Waqf Council being dormant with very few changes occurring, a more vibrant council is emerging with the Jordanian government taking a more active role in making changes to ensure the council is more reflective of Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Established after 1967, the council is usually composed of about 11 Islamic religious personalities. Numbers would sometimes change if members passed away or were unable to fulfill their duties. But in February 2019, the Jordanian government took the previously unprecedented move of widening the membership and adding nonreligious political local leaders and experts to the council. The Jordanian government attempted to avoid political appointees so as not to be accused of interfering in local Palestinian politics.

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