Netanyahu Promises Abdullah: No Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount

After Jordan pulls ambassador, Netanyahu calls Jordan's king and vows to keep discriminatory 'status quo' on Temple Mount.

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Ari Yashar,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apparently is very intent on forbidding Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount - the holiest site in Judaism - so much so that on Thursday he called Jordanian King Abdullah II and stressed to him again that the discriminatory "status quo" on the site will be kept.

Ahead of a meeting with Indian Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday evening, Netanyahu said "I spoke today to King Abdullah of Jordan and we agreed that we'll do every effort to calm the situation."

"I explained to him that we're keeping the status quo on the Temple Mount and that this includes Jordan's traditional role there, as consistent with the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan," said Netanyahu.

In the call, "Netanyahu reiterated Israel's commitment to preserve the status quo on the Temple Mount as well as Jordan's special status at the site," according to a state of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

The Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust) has been left in de facto control of the holy site since Israel liberated it in the 1967 Six Day War, and continues to discriminate against Jews, forbidding them to pray at the site. Israeli police have folded to the demands despite Israeli law stipulating freedom of religion.

Netanyahu's office earlier on Thursday likewise said "there will be no change in the status quo on the Temple Mount and that whoever expresses a different opinion is presenting a personal view and not the policy of the Government."

According to reports, Netanyahu met with Abdullah on Saturday in a secret meeting, in which he likewise vowed to keep the status quo, and even said he was considering a total ban on Jewish entry to the Temple Mount.

Likewise, after Jordan announced its intentions to pressure Israel not to advance a bill allowing Jewish prayer at the site, Netanyahu last month calmed Jordan by vowing not to allow Jewish prayer.

After violent Arab rioting on the Temple Mount on Wednesday forced police to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque as rioters barricaded themselves inside, the Jordanian government announced it would be withdrawing its ambassador to Israel.

The recent tensions come after Yehuda Glick, an activist who championed the push for Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount, was shot last Wednesday by an Arab terrorist in Jerusalem.








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