Report: Netanyahu met with Abdullah secretly in Amman amid Temple Mount tensions

Leaders agreed to increase cooperation in order to calm tensions at the site, according to a report in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida.

November 3, 2014 09:16
1 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Jordan's King Abdullah walks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met secretly with Jordan’s King Abdullah on Saturday amid recent tensions between Jordan and Israel over violence on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and access to the site. 

Netanyahu and Abdullah agreed to increase cooperation in order to calm tensions at the site, according to a report in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida.

In addition, Al-Jarida reported that Netanyahu intends to prevent Jews from entering the Temple Mount in the immediate future. Netanyahu will also reportedly create new avenues for tourists to visit the site.  

The Prime Minister's Office on Monday declined to comment on the report.

Abdullah promised last week that Jordan would safeguard holy Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem, as a former senior official warned yesterday that aggressive Israeli actions will lead to a third intifada.

Jordan will “continue to confront, through all available means, Israeli unilateral policies and measures in Jerusalem and preserve its Muslim and Christian holy sites, until peace is restored to the land of peace,” said King Abdullah in a speech, Jordan News Agency – Petra reported.

“The Palestinian cause remains our principal cause and is a higher national interest,” said Abdullah.

The Jordanian monarch also vowed his country would continue “to mobilize international support to rebuild Gaza, following the vile Israeli aggression, which killed thousands of our brethren.”

The king linked preventing further “aggression” to a two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative.

He spoke in response to a surge of violence between Jewish and Arab residents of Jerusalem, in the wake of the attempted assassination on Wednesday night of right-wing activist Yehudah Glick.

In response to the violence, Israel closed the Temple Mount to all Muslim worshipers on Thursday, something it has not done in years.

Only Muslim women and male worshipers over 50 were admitted on Friday when it reopened. By Saturday all Muslims could access the site, and on Sunday Jewish and Christian visitors, who had been banned from the area for three days, were allowed to return.

On Sunday, Netanyahu said that the site would remain open to Muslim worshipers and that there were no plans to close it.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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