Jordanian, Israeli leaders to meet with Kerry on Jerusalem

Kerry is due to meet later in the day with Jordanian King Abdullah II and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

Jordanian, Israeli leaders to meet with Kerry on Jerusalem

World Bulletin/News Desk

Jordan's King Abdullah, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet in Amman on Thursday to discuss problems between Israel and Palestinians in Jerusalem, the U.S. State Department said.

The three-way meeting in the Jordanian capital "will focus on ways to restore calm and de-escalate tensions in Jerusalem," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh met Thursday with visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry behind closed doors in Amman, a Jordanian diplomatic source has said.

Talks touched on recent developments in the Palestinian territories and Jerusalem, as well as means of fighting "terrorism," the source, who asked to remain anonymous, told Anadolu Agency.

Kerry is due to meet later in the day with Jordanian King Abdullah II and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before holding a press conference this afternoon to review the outcome of talks, the source noted.

The U.S. State Department said Kerry would hold talks with King Abdullah to discuss the tension in Jerusalem and a U.S.-led campaign – in which Jordan is taking part – against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group.

Earlier this month, Jordan – which is responsible for Jerusalem's holy sites in line with a 1994 peace treaty with Israel – recalled its ambassador in Tel Aviv to protest Israeli "violations" in East Jerusalem.

Tension has run high in East Jerusalem since late last month, when Israel closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for several hours after an extremist rabbi was injured in a West Jerusalem drive-by shooting.

Unrest mounted further when Israeli forces killed a young Palestinian man suspected of shooting the rabbi in a raid on his East Jerusalem home.

Further aggravating the situation, a number of Israeli parliamentarians have forced their way into the mosque complex in recent days and weeks, drawing the ire of Muslim worshippers and official condemnation from Arab and Muslim countries.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.

In September 2000, a visit to Al-Aqsa by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon triggered what later became known as the "Second Intifada," a popular uprising against Israel's decades-long occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.

 

Last Mod: 13 Kasım 2014, 16:26
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