Jordan's King Abdullah vows to fight Israeli 'extremism' at Temple Mount

King warns failure to reach a two-state solution inflames "violence and extremism in the region."

By ARIEL WHITMAN
August 15, 2016 11:55
1 minute read.
Jordan's King Abdullah

Jordan's King Abdullah speaks at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 12, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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King Abdullah of Jordan vowed to fight against "repeated violations and attacks carried out by Israel and extremist groups," in an interview to the Jordanian Ad-Dustour daily on Monday.

As part of the 1994 peace agreement between the two countries, Jordan was given management of the Temple Mount and al-Aksa Mosque, the third holiest site for Muslims. Tensions have frequently erupted on the Temple Mount and Palestinians have claimed that Israeli efforts to "Judaize" the site have motivated the current wave of violence in Israel.

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The king accused Israel of attempting to "violate the sanctity and compromise al-Aksa Mosque," and added that, "Our responsibility towards the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem is our top priority in the international arena, and we use all means necessary to defend al-Aksa Mosque."

Abdullah said that Jordan would resist Israel's "blatantly repeated attempts to change the status quo in Jerusalem regarding its landmarks and the prejudice against Islamic and Christian peoples."

He affirmed Jordan's commitment to the Palestinian people saying that "the Palestinian issue is our first priority and a supreme national interest."

The King addressed the current impasse in peace negotiations, saying that "failure to reach a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue and allowing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to move away from the two-state solution feeds violence and extremism in the region."

Jordan has repeatedly claimed that Israel has sought to change the status quo at the Temple Mount, an assertion that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has staunchly denied.

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The two sides had agreed on a plan to install cameras at the site, however, the Jordanians pulled out of the agreement under pressure from the Palestinians in April.

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