Netanyahu, King Abdullah Meet in Jordan


By Hamodia Staff

Jordan’s King Abdullah II. (Reuters/Hannah McKay/Pool)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with King Abdullah of Jordan on Tuesday in Amman.

“The two leaders discussed regional issues, emphasizing the strategic, security and economic cooperation between Israel and Jordan, which contributes to the stability of the region,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The two leaders also underscored the “long-standing friendship and partnership between the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan,” the statement said.

By contrast, the royal court noted that Abdullah told Netanyahu that Israel should respect the “historic and legal status quo in the Holy Aqsa mosque and not violate it,” an issue that went unmentioned in the PMO statement.

Netanyahu promised Abdullah that the status quo on Har Habayis will be preserved, according to Channel 12 news quoting a diplomatic source.

Recent incidents have contributed to renewed tensions with Amman. Earlier this month, national security minister Itamar Ben Gvir paid a brief visit to the site, which drew angry accusations that he had violated the status quo, which Israel denied. And there was a fleeting contretemps over Israeli police questioning Jordan’s ambassador, who stormed off but later returned.

Nonetheless, the source said “it was a good meeting that underlined the years of familiarity the leaders have with each other.”

This is the first visit Netanyahu has made abroad since he returned to office last month.

Meanwhile, a Jordanian court on Monday ordered the Israeli embassy in Amman to pay $500,000 in compensation to a Jordanian man who was injured by an Israeli embassy guard in 2017, in an incident that saw two people shot dead and caused a significant strain in bilateral relations, according to media reports.

Ziv Moyal, the guard, opened fire after one of the Jordanians allegedly attacked him, whereupon Jordan briefly detained him and was subsequently outraged when he was later warmly welcomed back to the country by then-prime minister Netanyahu.

The incident prompted all diplomatic staff, including Ambassador Einat Schlein, to return to Israel, which had no diplomatic presence in Jordan for six months before a new ambassador was appointed.

In 2018, Israel agreed to pay $5 million in compensation to the Jordanian government, which transferred it to the families of the two people who were killed. The kingdom had also demanded that Israel prosecute Moyal over the deaths.

But following its own probe into the case, Israel accepted his explanation that he acted in self-defense and has not pressed charges against him.

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