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Jordan, Israel spar over access to Christian holy sites in Jerusalem

Israel blames Jordan for escalating tensions on Temple Mount, while Jordan accuses Israel of restricting Christians from Jerusalem's Holy Sepulcher Church.
Worshippers visit the tomb of the Virgin Mary in Jerusalem on March 19, 2023 following an attack by Israelis. - The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem condemned the "heinous" attack that took place during Sunday mass at the Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary. (Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP) (Photo by HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli-Jordanian relations have taken a turn for the worse with accusations from both sides over access to Jerusalem's holy sites, ahead of the Greek Orthodox Easter this Sunday, and the Muslim holiday of Ramadan next week. 

The Israeli news outlet Walla reported Thursday that Israel is blaming Jordan for fanning the flames over incidents last week at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif compound, when Israeli officers raided Al-Aqsa mosque, and clashed with worshippers that they claimed are barricading themselves at the site. On Thursday, Jordan condemned Israeli restrictions on Christians' access to the Jerusalem Holy Sepulcher Church for the Holy Light celebrations this coming Saturday.

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