Jordan King’s Brother Makes Unusual Visit to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

Director of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf says visit motivated by religion, has 'nothing to with politics.'

Prince Hashim Bin Al-Hussein, the brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah II arrived for a visit to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Wednesday, say sources in Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Al-Hussein traveled as the head of a Jordanian envoy.

Azzam al-Khatib, General Director of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, confirmed the visit in an interview with Al-Shams radio in Nazareth, saying that the prince arrived accompanied by “a senior Arab cleric,” and said that the two visited and prayed in the Temple Mount mosque and left after an hour. According to al-Khatib, the visit was “motivated by religion, and had nothing to with politics.”

Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein - AP - April 2012

Al-Khatib further stated that the Jordanian royal family will continue to “closely follow what occurs in Jerusalem, and especially in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Al-Hussein's visit comes weeks after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Arab leaders to send envoys to visit East Jerusalem in order to show solidarity with the Palestinians. It can be assumed that Abdullah’s visit was partially motivated by Abbas’ call.

King Abdullah II visited Ramallah briefly visit in November 2011. The king met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas  ahead of Abbas' meeting with Hamas' political leader on the possibility of the establishment of a Palestinian unity government.

Read this article in Hebrew