World Bulletin/News Desk
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas will meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday in Jordanian capital Amman, a well-placed Palestinian official has said.
The official, who requested anonymity, told Anadolu Agency that Abbas had arrived in Amman late Tuesday night, noting that he would meet Jordanian King Abdullah II later on Wednesday.
Abbas' talks with Abdullah – and later with Kerry – will tackle recent upheaval in Jerusalem that followed Israel's temporary closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, along with the PA's plan to obtain a UN Security Council resolution committing Israel to a November 2016 deadline for leaving Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.
The PA, for its part, has yet to formally announce Abbas' upcoming visit to Amman.
The U.S. State Department said Kerry would arrive in Amman on Wednesday for talks with King Abdullah II to discuss the tension in Jerusalem and the 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 Jerusalem's holy sites in line with its 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: 12 Kasım 2014, 15:29