Jordan king makes rare visit to West Bank following Al-Aqsa tensions

A screenshot from a Hebrew music video posted to You Tube

A Palestinian official says Jordan's King Abdullah II is visiting the West Bank on Monday for the first time in five years.

The two leaders discussed the recent showdown with Israel over the Muslim-administered shrine, including confronting alleged Israeli attempts to expand its role there, said Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki.

During his two-hour meeting with Abbas, the Jordanian king highlighted "the commitment of Trump to work toward achieving peace between Palestinians and Israelis", according to a summary of the meeting in the Jordanian government's official news outlet Petra. Tensions between Jordan and Israel eased after Jordanians handed over the Israeli guard and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to investigate the incident.

One of the two men allegedly attacked the Israeli with a screwdriver, while the other was apparently shot dead by accident, according to Israeli officials.

In mid-July, Israel imposed a raft of draconian security measures at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque complex after two Israeli police officers were killed at the site by alleged Palestinian attackers.

Over the past several months, Abbas, as head of the Palestinian Authority, has stepped up pressure on Hamas, cutting off salaries for civil servants in Gaza, limiting payments to Israel for electricity imports and some medicines.

Jordan, which is the custodian of the site, reacted angrily to the new measures, while Palestinians responded with days of protests.

The site is the third holiest site for Muslims after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Netanyahu's removal of the metal detectors was seen by Palestinians as a victory.

On Sunday, the Jordanian King warned that the future of the Palestinian question is at stakes, urging worldwide powers to push for progress.

Jordan retains custody of the mosque through an Islamic endowment, known as the Waqf, and the Jordanian monarch announced last week that he would be donating $1 million to its Islamic Museum, 300 Jordanian dinars ($423) to Waqf employees and be making a special payment to certain guards.

Jordan has not recognized Israel's 1967 occupation of east Jerusalem al-Quds and other parts of the West Bank.

He went on saying "this visit is a message of support for Palestinian after they have come out of this tough confrontation, and we hope that whit meeting will yield a coordination for future confrontations (with Israel) because this is a terrible occupation that has no peace agenda".

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