King of Jordan to visit Palestinian Authority President Abbas in Ramallah

King Abdullah of Jordan will discuss the issue of the Temple Mount and the al-Aksa mosque with the Palestinian Authority leader.

By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA, JPOST.COM STAFF
August 5, 2017 18:46
2 minute read.
Jordan's King Abdullah (R) welcomes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Royal Palace in Amman

Jordan's King Abdullah (R) welcomes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Royal Palace in Amman. (photo credit: REUTERS)

King Abdullah of Jordan will visit Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday in Ramallah to discuss the recent Temple Mount crises and the strengthening of the Jordanian-Palestinian relationship regarding the al-Aksa mosque, Arab media reported on Saturday.  

The reason for the King Abdullah's visit to Ramallah is that Abbas froze the security cooperation with Israel and as a result is unable to coordinate security arrangements for a flight to Jordan, as he would need to pass via Israeli airspace.   
 
Jordan is the official custodian of the Al-Aksa mosque, which is the third holiest site in Islam.


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After the terror attack on the Temple Mount that took place on July 14, in which two Arab-Israelis killed two police officers and fled into the Al-Aksa Mosque, tensions surrounding access to and sovereignty of the sacred site remained high.  


Police officers chased the attackers and shot them dead and the Israeli government decided to follow the recommendation of the police and install new security measures in the compound, measures that included metal detectors and security cameras. 


King Abdullah was fiercely opposed to what he considered to be changes in the status quo and the Palestinians responded with mass prayer protests in the streets facing the metal detectors and the Israeli security personal stationed there to ensure public order. 


The standoff came to a peak after an Israeli security guard stationed in the Israeli embassy in Amman was stabbed by a Jordanian citizen. He shot his attacker and killed him, accidentally also killing another Jordanian citizen who was present in the apartment. This incident led to a standoff of a different kind between the Israeli government, who demanded Jordan respect the security guard's diplomatic immunity, and the Jordanians who demanded to be allowed into the embassy and examine the scene. 


Only with the return of the security guard to Israel, where he was received by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which happened as the rapid removal of both metal detectors and security cameras was taking place, did relations between Jordan and Israel improve slightly.

However, the embassy of Israel in Jordan remains unstaffed and one quarter of the Jordanian parliament supported calling back the Jordanian ambassador in Israel back home.   


Meanwhile, in Israel the family of the security guard, who was already revealed to be Ziv Moyal by the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad, had to leave their home in southern Israel out of concerns for their safety. Israel filed an official complaint to Jordan as this exposure put Moyal's safety at risk.


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