Omer Barlev
Omer BarlevYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev (Labor) secretly visited Jordan last Wednesday, meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Maariv reported.

The report quoted a senior Israeli official as saying that the goal of the meeting was to coordinate ahead of Ramadan, so as to reduce tension and prevent an escalation in Jerusalem. The meeting was initiated by Jordan, the report added.

This year, the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan overlaps with the Jewish Passover holiday and the Christian Easter. This situation has raised concerns in Israel, Jordan, and the United States that there may be conflict at holy sites, leading to an escalation.

A senior Israeli official said that the meeting between Barlev and Safadi was held in a very positive atmosphere, and that a central portion of it dealt with the situation in the Old City of Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount. The Israeli official said that the Jordanians requested to slightly increase the number of Waqf guards on the Temple Mount, while Israel expressed concern that some of them would be Hamas supporters.

"We reached an agreement that the Jordanians will ensure that there are no Hamas supporters among the Waqf members, and Israel will agree to increase slightly the number of Waqf guards, while each one undergoes an Israeli examination to ensure that he is not connected to a terror organization," the official said, according to Maariv.