King of Jordan heads to United Kingdom after brief visit to Ramallah

Jordan's King Abdullah visited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah for the first time in almost five years.

The crisis erupted when Israel installed metal detectors at the shrine, after gunmen killed two Israeli policemen there.

After flying by military helicopter to Abbas's muqata presidential compound and being greeted by Abbas, the king reviewed an honor guard and the Jordanian and Palestinian national anthems were played before the two headed into talks. But there was widespread revulsion in Jordan when Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu hugged the guard upon his return and praised his handling of the incident, embarrassing King Abdullah.

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

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suspended contacts with the Israeli side on all levels on July 21, including security coordination.

After Israeli took over East Jerusalem in 1967, it was obliged to respect the status quo and not make any changes to the historical status, law and institutions in East Jerusalem, including the Jordan administered holy mosque. After two weeks of protests in which several Palestinians were killed in clashes, the Israeli regime was compelled to completely lift the security measures.

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who last week criticized the USA for allowing Israeli settlement construction to continue unabated by offering only silence on the issue, also said the Palestinians are still "committed" to a USA initiative. In this regard, the Monarch said there would be no breakthrough in the peace process without a USA push for a solution.

Ghassan Khatib, a former Palestinian Authority minister and the vice president of Bir Zeit University near Ramallah, said Monday's meetings drew on a sense that Jordan and the Palestinians had complemented each other during the recent crisis over Al Aqsa.

The two men did not address the media but shook hands with senior Palestinian officials.

Jordan intervened in July to help resolve a crisis over access to the ultra-sensitive Haram al-Sharif mosque compound known to Jews as Temple Mount.

Tel Aviv- Israeli diplomatic sources on Friday said that recent developments show evidence of a clear escalation with Jordan's capital Amman, as Jordanian King Abdullah II announced paying a rare visit Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah.

  • Rogelio Becker