World Bulletin/News Desk
At a Thursday meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in capital Amman, Jordanian King Abdullah II rejected Israel's unilateral practices in East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
Following the meeting, the Jordanian royal court said Abdullah had called for an end to Israel's repeated attacks on Jerusalem's Jordan-administered holy sites as a prerequisite for restarting Washington-sponsored peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The Jordanian king also told Kerry, according to the royal statement, that a "livable Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital" was the only way to achieve peace.
For his part, Kerry lauded Jordan's "efforts in pursuing peace in the Middle East" and the country's role in a U.S.-led military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group, according to the royal court.
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, 17:40