Jordanian king Visits Palestinian president


In his first visit to Abbas’s headquarters in Ramallah in five years, Jordan’s King Abdullah II began a rare visit to the occupied West Bank to meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Monday. Amid shared tensions with Israel over a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site, Abdullah was welcomed on a red carpet near his helicopter by the Palestinian leader before the two national anthems were played.
The two men did not address the media but shook hands with senior Palestinian officials.
The visit came less than two weeks after the end of a standoff at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem where Israel had imposed new security measures, including metal detectors, following an attack that killed two policemen.
Jordan, which is the custodian of the site, reacted angrily to the new measures, while Palestinians responded with days of protests. The tensions were exacerbated on July 23 when an Israeli security guard shot dead two Jordanians at the Israeli embassy compound in the capital Amman.
One of the two men attacked the Israeli with a screwdriver, while the other was apparently shot dead by accident, according to Israeli officials.
The crisis eased on July 27 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the removal of the metal detectors, while he has also promised to investigate the embassy incident.
Abdullah’s visit was seen by analysts as providing support to Abbas, who has been isolated by Israel over his response to the Al-Aqsa row. The mosque compound is in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in 1967 in a move never recognised by the international community.
The 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan recognises Amman’s special status as official custodian of Jerusalem’s holy Muslim sites.
About half of Jordan’s 9.5 million citizens are of Palestinian origin.


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