Ben-Gvir: With All Due Respect to Jordan, I Will Keep Visiting Temple Mount

In a surprise meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah II of Jordan on Tuesday, the Israeli PM reportedly assured the king that the status quo in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound would be maintained

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Itamar Ben-Gvir during his previous visit to the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, this month.
Itamar Ben-Gvir during his previous visit to the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, this month.Credit: Temple Mount Administration / AFP

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said Wednesday he intends to continue visiting the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, despite reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu assured the Jordan's King Abdullah II that the status quo at the holy site would not be changed.

"I do not conduct my policy regarding the Temple Mount according to the policy of the Jordanian government," the far-right lawmaker said in an interview with Kan public radio.

"I received an update on [Netanyahu and Abdullah's] meeting. With all due respect to Jordan, Israel is an independent country," Ben-Gvir said. "I went up to the Temple Mount, I will continue to go up to the Temple Mount, the Temple Mount is the most important place for the people of Israel and the State of Israel is a sovereign country ... not a protectorate of any other country."

In the surprise meeting between Netanyahu and King Abdullah in Jordan on Tuesday, the king emphasized the importance of respecting the status quo in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and of the need to stop all unilateral measures that harm the chance for a future two-state solution, the royal palace said. In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly promised the king that the status quo in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound would be maintained.

Tensions between Israel and Jordan have been running high since Netanyahu returned to power last month. Last week, Israeli police officers held up the Jordanian ambassador to Israel, Ghassan Majali, at the entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Tuesday in Jerusalem, leading Majali to leave in protest. Jordan's Foreign Ministry summoned Israel's ambassador in Amman immediately after the incident to protest Israel's conduct at the holy site.

Earlier this month, Itamar Ben-Gvir arrived at the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa compound during his first week in office, a visit which garnered widespread international condemnation for being highly incendiary.

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