Israel gives Islamic authority deadline in holy site closure

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli court has set a 60-day deadline for the Jordanian-appointed council that oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem to respond to its closure of a disputed structure at the city’s most sensitive scared site.

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry called on Israel to rescind its “dangerous” court-ordered closure Sunday, saying that the Al-Aqsa mosque compound “is not subject to Israeli jurisdiction” and falls under the “exclusive authority of the Waqf,” or Islamic council.

The Waqf says it will continue operating in the structure while Jordan and Israel attempt to reach a settlement in the coming weeks.

Israel shuttered the structure in 2003, claiming it was used by a group connected with Islamic militants. The Waqf re-opened the area recently, leading to tense standoffs between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli police.