Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Jordan’

Israel ‘campaigns to change the status quo at al-Aqsa’

After a summer of simmering tensions at al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a familiar flash point in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem could boil over once again, analysts warn.

“Through their unilateral attempts to change the internationally recognised status quo, the nationalist-religious Temple Mount activists and the Israeli government that supports them pose several dangers at the local, regional and international levels,” Nur Arafeh, a policy fellow with Al-Shabaka: the Palestinian policy network, told Al Jazeera. Read more

Israel keeps making, not taking, more refugees

Long before Syrian refugees found their way to Europe, the war-torn country’s neighbours have been hosting a staggering number of displaced persons – with one notable exception.

Syria has five neighbours: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Israel (with the latter occupying the Golan Heights since 1967). According to recent figures, Turkey currently hosts 1.8 million Syrian refugees, Lebanon a further 1.17 million, Jordan around 630,000, and Iraq some 250,000.

Israel, however, with a GDP per capita almost double that of Turkey and five times as much as Jordan, has not accepted a single one. Read more

In the Middle East, the Pope’s every move will be scrutinised

Today, Pope Benedict XVI embarks on his Middle East tour. First stop is Jordan, with an itinerary that covers three days of meetings and masses. One of his visits will be to “Bethany beyond the Jordan“, which lays claim to being the place where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist.

This is being considered quite a coup for the Jordanians, who have prioritised the promotion of the baptism site “more than any other” tourist spot. Since none of the other rivals for the title of being the baptismal location are included on the regional trip, it is fair to see the pope’s visit as an endorsement of a location that in recent years has succeeded in overshadowing the competition over the border. Read more