Jordan's King to visit Ramallah

King Abdullah to make rare official visit to Ramallah, meet Abbas.

Elad Benari ,

Jordan's King Abdullah and Mahmoud Abbas
Jordan's King Abdullah and Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

King Abdullah of Jordan is set to make a rare official visit to Ramallah next week, Yediot Aharonot reported on Thursday.

The visit is expected to last several hours, and the Jordanian King is expected to meet Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas in his Ramallah compound, according to the Israeli newspaper.

For now, it appears that the visit will take place on Monday, but no decision has yet been made. The King's last visit to areas under Palestinian Authority control took place five years ago.

Analysts believe that the fact that King Abdullah will arrive in Ramallah shortly after the recent incident in Amman in which an Israeli security guard shot two Jordanian civilians, and after the Temple Mount crisis, constitutes a clear and meaningful statement to Israel.

The incident near the embassy in Amman increased the tensions between Israel and Jordan.

Following the attack, Jordanian officials demanded Israel turn over the security officer for interrogation – despite his diplomatic immunity.

Jordan had refused to allow the guard to leave the country. The head of the Shin Bet intelligence agency then traveled to Amman to conduct his own investigation into the incident. The intelligence chief presented the officer's side of the story to Jordanian officials, and after negotiations between King Abdullah and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Jordan agreed to allow the guard to return to Israel.

Last week, Israel announced it had launched an initial probe into the incident, after Jordan demanded that Israel place the guard on trial, despite hearing the results of the Shin Bet investigation and the conclusion that he acted in self-defense after being attacked.