Jordan's King Abdullah in rare visit to Palestine

Jordan's King Abdullah in rare visit to Palestine

Jordan's King Abdullah in rare visit to Palestine

While the two leaders meet fairly frequently in Amman and other regional capitals, Abdullah has not visited Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, since December 2012.

In Ramallah, Abdullah received a warm welcome and shook Abbas' hand. The detectors were installed after a deadly July 14 attack at the site by three Israeli Arabs.

Mohammed Jawawdeh, 17, was shot after assaulting an Israeli security guard with a screwdriver at the embassy compound, according to Israeli officials.

Abdullah has strongly criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's response to the incident, and said that the latter exploited the crisis at the Amman embassy for political purposes.

Palestinians have argued that ending Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem - lands Palestinians seek for their state - is key to defeating terrorism. During the speech he adopted Israel's view that the Al Aqsa crisis stemmed from Palestinian incitement and mused that there may be no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sheikh Salim said the al-Aqsa Mosque belongs to Muslims only and the Islamic endowment department is the only authority that has the right to manage the affairs of the holy site.

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He has said he would donate $1.4 million to the Muslim administration of the shrine.

The guard was released by Jordan the next day, after a phone call between the king and Netanyahu.

During his two-hour meeting with Abbas, the Jordanian king highlighted "the commitment of Trump to work toward achieving peace between Palestinians and Israelis", according to a summary of the meeting in the Jordanian government's official news outlet Petra.

"This visit sends a message from his majesty that he is willing to contribute to removing president Abbas's isolation following his decision to stop the security coordination with Israel", Samir Awad, politics professor at Birzeit University near Ramallah in the West Bank, told AFP. He also said Washington should support the freezing of settlement construction in order for negotiations to begin.

But they have become increasingly frustrated by what they see as his negotiating team's one-sided approach.

Leading Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat has strongly criticised the "silence" of the U.S. administration over Israeli settlement growth and its lack of support for the two-state solution.

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