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Jordan legislators back expelling Israeli envoy

AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan’s Parliament voted unanimously to expel the Israeli ambassador and recall its own envoy on Wednesday, a day after Israeli lawmakers debated a proposal to take over a Jerusalem holy site administered by Jordanians.

The vote by acclamation in Jordan’s 150-seat Parliament is not binding to the Cabinet, which is keen to maintain diplomatic ties with Israel. Israeli lawmakers have not voted on the issue and it is unlikely to pass as the majority does not want to antagonize Muslims.

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The discussion was initiated by the Likud Party’s Moshe Feiglin, who proposed the Jewish state wrest control from Jordan the al-Aqsa compound housing shrines revered by Muslims. Jordan was given a ‘‘special’’ role over the area in a 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

The compound, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. It contains the Dome of the Rock, which enshrines the rock where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.

 But it is also Judaism’s most sacred place of worship, venerated by Jews as the Temple Mount. Jews believe the rock may be where the holiest part of the two ancient temples stood about 2,000 years ago — and where religious Jews pray a third temple will one day be built.

The fate of Jerusalem and its shrines are to be determined in final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians brokered by the United States.

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