Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah issued a joint call for an end to violence at Har Habayis on Thursday afternoon, following a phone conversation in which assurances were again given that Israel has no intention to change the status quo at the site.
The two secretly met a few days ago, according to unconfirmed reports.
Netanyahu also told Abdullah that Israel respects Jordan’s special role as custodian of the Muslim holy places in Yerushalayim, as stipulated in the 1994 peace agreement between the two countries, the PMO said.
A number of Israeli right-wing politicians from the Jewish Home and Likud parties made public visits to the site in recent days, and demanded expanded Jewish access. On Wednesday, a group of Israeli activists escorted by security forces entered the compound where they confronted Palestinian worshippers.
Poskim forbid Jewish entry on Har Habayis.
Amid incendiary remarks from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and others threatening holy war, Jordan on Wednesday recalled its Ambassador Walid Obeidat to Amman to protest Israeli actions. And for the first time in 20 years Jordan said the issue could threaten the peace treaty between the two nations.
A Jordanian diplomat told Reuters that King Abdullah is “very annoyed and worried … Yerushalayim is everything,” he said. “You can’t overstate how important it is. It’s the last thing they need. There’s enough going on in Syria and Iraq and Jordan is impacted by both,” he said.
“We are sorry that they took this step,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, adding that extremists, were spreading lies about Israeli policy.
MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) and others remain adamant that Israel must assert its sovereignty in all parts of the capital, including the holy places.
Those who “point their finger at public representatives who follow the law and want to maintain Israeli sovereignty at the heart of its capital…are giving a prize to terrorism and guarantee its escalation,” Feiglin said.
Meanwhile, the Palestinians and Jordanians urged the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to demand that Israel immediately stop provocations and incitement against Muslim holy sites, warning that further escalation could lead to a regional crisis.
In a letter to the Security Council, Jordan called on the 15-member body to hold Israel accountable for a raid on the Al Aqsa mosque, which it said had sparked fires that damaged ceiling mosaics and carpet.
Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor sent a letter to the Security Council listing acts of incitement by the Palestinian leadership, including last month’s near-fatal shooting of Jewish activist Yehuda Glick.
Prosor’s letter noted the council’s failure to “utter a word” about this “blatantly dangerous.