Jordan's King Coming to Ramallah to Meet With Palestinian President

Mahmoud Abbas is refusing contact with Israel and cannot coordinate his exiting the West Bank, so the monarch is coming to the West Bank

King Abdullah II (R) dining with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan, January 22, 2017
HO/AFP

Jordan's King Abdullah II is to travel to Ramallah on Monday to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the recent events on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and political developments.

Abdullah recently announced the allocation of $1 million to support the Waqf, the religious trust that manages the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, and a special grant for its employees. He is expected to arrive in the afternoon for a personal meeting with Abbas and senior Palestinian officials.

According to Palestinian sources, the king was offended by Israel's handling of its security guard who shot dead two Jordanians at the Israeli Embassy in Amman, and also how it handled event at the Al-Aqsa compound.

After Israeli Arabs shot dead two Israeli policemen guarding the Temple Mount last month, Israel responded by installing metal detectors at the entrance to the Mount, which is the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Muslims responded by praying outside rather than entering the site. Under pressure from Jordan and the Arab world, Israel ultimately backed down and removed the metal detectors

The Palestinian sources said that Abdullah has been coordinating closely with Abbas over the past two weeks. In their last conversation, the two agreed to meet. However, Abbas announced last week that he was suspending all contact with Israel, which would preclude his coordinating his exit from the West Bank should he wish to visit Abdullah in Amman. As a result, the two leaders decided to meet in Ramallah, and they hope that the king's trip will convey a message about coordination with the Palestinians. Despite the unique political climate, this is not the first time that Abdullah has come to Ramallah for a diplomatic meeting with Abbas.