Jordan: Visitor to Al-Aksa was Prince Hashim

Initial reports suggested the man that visited the mosque was another of King Abdullah's half-brothers or his 17-year-old heir.

April 5, 2012 16:36
2 minute read.
Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount 390. (photo credit: Ilan Evyatar)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A half-brother of King Abdullah II of Jordan visited Jerusalem’s Al-Aksa Mosque on Wednesday, but the visitor was a different royal than widely reported, a spokesman for the Hashemite dynasty said.

Muin Khoury, director of media and research for Jordan’s royal family, told The Jerusalem Post that Wednesday’s visitor had not been the 36-year-old Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, but 30-year-old Prince Hashim, who is eighth in line for the throne.

Israeli Foreign Ministry sources confirmed that a Jordanian royal had visited the mosque, but declined to specify which. They said the visit did not constitute a formal visit and that no meetings had been set up with Israeli officials.

Hashim is the younger of the two sons of the late King Hussein and his last wife, the American-born Queen Noor. A graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, the prince is married to a member of the Saudi royal family and has three daughters.

Initial reports had suggested Wednesday’s visitor was Crown Prince Hussein – Abdullah’s 17- year-old designated heir – while later reports pointed to Ali, a brigadier in the Jordanian army and vice president for Asia of the world soccer-governing body FIFA.

Jerusalem’s Muslim holy sites are in the custody of the Jordanian Wakf – the Islamic religious trusteeship – a holdover from Jordan’s occupation of east Jerusalem and the West Bank between 1948 and 1967.

On Wednesday, Azzam al-Khatib, the Wakf director-general, confirmed in an interview with Nazareth-based radio station AShams that a Jordanian royal had visited the mosque on the Temple Mount accompanied by an Islamic cleric. Khatib said the visit had been “religiously motivated” and apolitical.

Still, Khatib added, “the Jordanian royal family continues to watch everything happening in Jerusalem closely, particularly in reference to Al-Aksa Mosque.”

Hashim ascended to the mosque via the Mugrabi Bridge, an elevated wooden walkway connecting the Western Wall Plaza with the Temple Mount. The bridge – erected in 2007 as a temporary walkway – has been a source of conflict between Israeli and Wakf authorities over which has the right to conduct repairs to the structure, which city engineers have deemed unsafe.

Hashim’s half-brother Abdullah rarely visits Israel. The monarch last visited the country in 2004, making a secret trip to then-prime minister Ariel Sharon’s Negev ranch to air concerns that the West Bank security barrier could lead to a mass flight of Palestinians into his kingdom.

Abdullah also rarely ventures into the Palestinian Authority.

In November, he paid a brief visit to Ramallah ahead of unity talks between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah. It was his first visit to the PA in 11 years.

Khaled Abu Toameh and Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN