A general view of Jerusalem shows the Dome of the Rock, located in Jerusalem's Old City on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount December 6, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jordanian Interior Minister Ghalib Zoabi toured the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Sunday, becoming the first senior Jordanian official to visit the site since US President Donald Trump announced changes to American policy on Jerusalem last month.
In early December, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiated the relocation of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city, breaking with decades of American policy.
On several occasions, Jordanian officials have condemned Trump’s decisions, calling them violations of international law.
Ghalib toured the Temple Mount, also known as the Haram al-Sharif in Arabic, alongside Jordanian Ambassador to Ramallah Khalid Shawabka and Wakf director in Jerusalem Azzam Khatib.
Jordan is considered the guardian of Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, according to agreements between it and Israel.
In a phone call, Khatib said that “Jordanian ministers and other senior officials frequently visit us [in Jerusalem] and we hope that will continue.”
The Temple Mount is one of the most hotly contested sites between Israelis and Palestinians.
On Saturday night, Zoabi, on behalf of King Abdullah, attended midnight mass in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, the official Jordanian news agency Petra reported. Pictures of the mass show Zoabi sitting alongside Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
On Sunday afternoon, Zoabi also held a meeting with PA Police Chief Hazem Atallah, Palestinian businessman Bashar al-Masri and Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi.