Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu meets Jordan's king in surprise trip amid tension

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Jan 24, 2023 8:09 PM EST

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a astonishment travel to Jordan connected Tuesday to conscionable with King Abdullah II for the archetypal clip successful implicit 4 years, seeking to enactment up ties that person strained since helium took bureau astatine the helm of Israel’s astir right-wing authorities successful history.

The uncommon gathering betwixt the leaders, who person agelong had a rocky relationship, comes arsenic tensions turn implicit Israel’s caller ultranationalist government, which took bureau precocious past year. The talks centered astir the presumption of a contested beatified tract successful the Old City of Jerusalem ineffable to some Jews and Muslims, an emotional contented astatine the bosom of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Jordan’s authoritative connection indicated.

Jordan’s royal tribunal said the king urged Israel to respect the presumption quo astatine the ineffable compound, which Muslims telephone the Noble Sanctuary and Jews telephone the Temple Mount. The compound — the third-holiest tract successful Islam — sits connected a sprawling plateau besides location to the iconic aureate Dome of the Rock.

Under an statement that has prevailed for decades nether Jordan’s custodianship, Jews and non-Muslims are permitted visits during definite hours but whitethorn not commune there. But Jewish spiritual nationalists, including members of Israel’s caller governing coalition, person progressively visited the tract and demanded adjacent supplication rights for Jews there, infuriating the Palestinians and Muslims astir the world.

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In Tuesday’s meeting, King Abdullah II besides pushed Israel to “stop its acts of violence” that are undermining hopes for an eventual peaceful colony to the decadeslong Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Jordanian authorities added, reaffirming its enactment for a two-state solution. Israel’s caller conjugation has vowed to grow Jewish settlements successful the occupied West Bank and adjacent annex the territory, making a aboriginal autarkic Palestinian authorities unviable.

Netanyahu’s bureau said helium discussed “regional issues” and information and economical practice with Jordan, a cardinal determination ally. Jordan’s 1994 pact normalizing ties with Israel produced a chilly-at-best bid betwixt the erstwhile enemies.

The Jordanian authorities has already summoned the Israeli ambassador to Amman doubly successful the past period since Israel’s caller authorities took bureau — some times aft an incidental astatine the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Netanyahu has repeatedly offered assurances that determination has been nary alteration successful the presumption quo astatine the site.

Earlier this month, Israel’s new hard-line curate of nationalist security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, made a provocative sojourn to the site, drafting condemnations from Jordan and crossed the Arab world. Jordan besides protested to Israel after Israeli constabulary concisely blocked the Jordanian ambassador from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque, decrying the determination arsenic an affront to Jordan’s relation arsenic custodian.

The compound is administered by Jordanian spiritual authorities arsenic portion of an unofficial statement aft Israel captured eastbound Jerusalem, on with the West Bank and Gaza, successful the 1967 Mideast war. Israel is successful complaint of information astatine the site. Because of Jordan’s peculiar relation and the site’s value to Muslims astir the world, immoderate happens astatine the tract has determination implications.

The tract emerged arsenic a large flashpoint betwixt Israel and the Muslim satellite successful 2017, erstwhile Israel placed metallic detectors, cameras and different information measures astatine entrances to the compound successful effect to a deadly Palestinian onslaught there. After days of immoderate of the worst Israeli-Palestinian clashes successful years, Jordan helped resoluteness the crisis.

Over the years, the neighbors person maintained a important information alliance, buttressing Jordan’s presumption arsenic a spouse of the West successful 1 of the world’s astir volatile regions.

Left: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a proceeding astatine the Magistrate's Court successful Rishon Lezion, Israel, 23 January 2023. Photo by ABIR SULTAN/Pool via REUTERS