Palestine FM: King Abdullah visit very important, comes in critical time

PNN/ Ramallah/

The Palestinian minister of Foreign Affairs, Riad Al-Malki on Monday said that the visit of King of Jordan Abdullah II is very important because it comes at a critical time.

Al-Malki said that a joint assessment of the events was made, regarding the direct Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem Israel’s attempt to change the status quo.

In an interview with reporters, Al-Maliki said that the visit took place in a positive atmosphere and discussed the assessment in order to prepare for the next steps in the region.

Maliki added that the two leaders discussed the situation and agreed that there should be a “crisis cell” for coordination to be able to face any challenges and ensure that the events at the Al-Aqsa mosque do not happen again.

The visit comes two weeks since a surge in violence in Jerusalem after Israel installed metal detectors at Muslim entrances to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The Al-Aqsa crisis erupted when Israel installed metal detectors at the entrances of the mosque after gunmen killed two Israeli policemen there. The measures triggered Muslim protests, and Israel eventually removed the devices. However, five Palestinians were killed during the period.

Abbas suspended security ties with Israel over the crisis.

In a separate incident as well, an Israeli security guard at Israel’s Amman mission compound killed a Jordanian teenager (who he accused of attacking him) and another Jordanian bystander.

King Abdullah harshly criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for warmly welcoming the security guard back to Israel.

Abdullah’s role as Muslim custodian of the shrine is a key component of his legitimacy.