Jordanian king in occupied West Bank on rare visit

25000 Palestinians Attend Friday Prayers in Al-Aqsa Mosque despite Restrictions

He is expected to arrive in the afternoon for a personal meeting with Abbas and senior Palestinian officials.

King Abdullah II of Jordan (2nd L, front) is received by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (1st L, front) in the West Bank city of Ramallah on August 7, 2017. Tensions between Jordan and Israel eased after Jordanians handed over the Israeli guard and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to investigate the incident.

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

Jordan has remained responsible for Al-Aqsa since 1967, when it lost control of occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank to Israel during the Six-Day War.

Under diplomatic pressure and faced with Palestinian protests, Israel ended a two week standoff by withdrawing the detectors and all other newly installed equipment.

According to Petra, the Jordanian king also urged the United States to intensify its efforts to help bridge the gaps between the Palestinians and Israelis.

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. According to Petra, he "confirmed the importance of working with the U.S. administration to move the peace process and relaunch serious and efficient negotiations based on the two state solution".

The Jordanian king has visited the Palestinian territories several times, and the most recent visit was in 2012.

During the recent escalation of tensions over al-Aqsa Mosque, an Israeli guard shot dead two Jordanians at the Israeli embassy compound in Amman after one of the men reportedly attacked the guard with a screwdriver.

Israeli authorities have since said they would investigate the embassy shootings, meeting a Jordanian demand.

Abdullah is also playing a role in liaising with Egypt and others to see if long-standing differences between Abbas's Western-backed Fatah party and the rival Hamas movement can be resolved.

Thousands of Muslim worshipers participate in evening prayers outside the Lions Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, refusing to enter the Temple Mount enclosure to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque inside, July 25, 2017.

King Abdullah II held a two-hour visit to Ramallah earlier today, during which he held a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the latest developments in the Palestinian arena.



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