Saudi King Reportedly Conveys Message to Israel via Washington on Temple Mount Crisis

Against the backdrop of Israel's placing of metal detectors at the entrance to the compound, King Salman demands that the Mount be reopened to worshipers, Saudi news site reports

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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Israeli policemen secure the scene of the shooting attack at Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City on July 14, 2017.
Israeli policemen secure the scene of the shooting attack at Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City on July 14, 2017.Credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Saudi King Salman has personally intervened in the Temple Mount crisis and passed on a message to Israel via Washington that the compound should be reopened to worshipers, Saudi news site Elaph reported on Tuesday.

The Saudi demand comes against the backdrop of Israel's placement of metal detectors at the entrance to the compound on Sunday. However, the Waqf – the Muslim religious body that has authority over the site – announced that the metal detectors are an attempt to change the status quo and called on worshipers not to enter the site.

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According to the report, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a message in response, in which he vowed that the status quo at the site won't be harmed, and even invited senior Saudi officials to Al-Aqsa Mosque to examine it for themselves. He did not receive a response from the Saudis.

In a phone call Netanyahu held with Jordanian King Abdullah on Saturday night, the report added, the prime minister protested a speech by the speaker of the Jordanian Parliament, Atef a-Tarawana, who attacked Israel over its conduct on the Mount. "The speech was irresponsible," Netanyahu told Abdullah.

The Prime Minister's Bureau refused to comment.

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