Sky News Arabia falsely claims Jordan has custody over Jerusalem’s Christian shrines

Contrary to claims by Sky News Arabia that the Jordan-Israeli peace agreement grants Jordanian custody over Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, the text of the agreement makes clear that Jordan’s special role only involves Muslim shrines in the city.

Sky News Arabia is a joint venture between the UK-based Sky News and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation. As several previous posts have shown, though they claim to strive for unbiased journalism, the network’s website often distorts facts and omits key information in a manner which paints Israel in the most negative possible light. The following article, titled “Coptic Anger after an ‘Israeli assault’ on Deer As-Sultan in Jerusalem”, clearly falls under the “distorting facts” category.

The Arabic article from October 24th covered a recent confrontation between Israeli police and Coptic protesters over a site that constitutes part of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher compound in Jerusalem. Perhaps to justify a potential Jordanian response to the Israeli police’s actions at the compound, the article’s anonymous author writes the following:

“It bares mentioning that the Muslim and Christian shrines in Jerusalem are under the custody of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, according to the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan”

However, the agreement regarding Jerusalem holy sites does not, in fact, deal with Christian shrines at all. It recognizes Jordan’s special role regarding only Muslim shrines, as quoted on the Jordanian government’s website, which includes the full peace agreement: (Article 9, Paragraph II)

“Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.”

We contacted Sky News Arabia, but – as with our previous attempts to alert editors to factual errors – they’ve failed to respond to our complaint.

(This story was researched and written by CAMERA Arabic)

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