Jordan's King Abdullah walks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Relations between Jordan and Israel have soured to the point where King Abdullah is refusing to communicate directly with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Channel 2 reported on Thursday, citing Arab and Jordanian media sources.
The Kuwaiti daily A-Jarida is reporting on Thursday that King Abdullah refused Netanyahu's request to hold a secret meeting in the Red Sea resort town of Aqaba, just over the border near Eilat.
According to the reports, the Hashemite monarchy is furious with the Israeli government over recent statements accusing Amman of playing a destabilizing role and turning a blind eye to Palestinian provocations on Temple Mount.
The reports indicate that not only has the Jordanian government refused to accept any back-channel messages from the Prime Minister's Office, but it is also considering a recall of its ambassador to Tel Aviv as a means to express its displeasure with Jerusalem's policies as they relate to the Islamic holy sites.
The Jordanian government "has changed its diplomatic tactics" in response to Israel's latest measures relating to Temple Mount, local press reports say.
The king harshly criticized Israel earlier this week for the decision to launch a police raid into al-Aksa mosque. "What does Netanyahu wish to achieve with these actions? Does he want to cause an explosion?" the monarch was quoted as saying.
"There is no partnership [with Israel] on Temple Mount, and the complex will never be divided," Abdullah said.
Last week, Jordan tried to push through a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for its actions on Temple Mount. It also threatened to recall its ambassador from Israel as well as to prepare legal steps accusing Jerusalem of violating clauses of the peace treaty signed with Amman 21 years ago.
Jordanian officials believe that these steps helped shine the international spotlight on what was taking place in Jerusalem's Old City, particularly at al-Aksa mosque.
Following Abdullah II's criticism of Israel over recent violence on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, Israel reportedly responded to the monarchy and indicated that Jordan itself was allowing the status quo at the site to be broken.
According to a Channel 2 report on Monday, Israel communicated to Jordan that it should not be shirking its own responsibility at the Temple Mount and that it was in fact the Jordanian Waqf that has allowed the rioters who were armed with stones to sleep in al-Aksa Mosque.
Abdullah on Sunday indicated to a visiting delegation of Arab MKs from the Joint List that he was following events on the Temple Mount closely and it would be an important subject in meetings with world leaders at the UN next week.