Jason Greenblatt meets Binyamin Netanyahu
Jason Greenblatt meets Binyamin Netanyahu Flash 90

A top aide to US President Donald Trump arrived in Israel Monday in a bid to ease tensions over new security measures at a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site after a weekend of deadly Arab violence.

Jason Greenblatt's visit comes after more than a week of tensions over the Temple Mount and central
to the Arab Israeli conflict.

Greenblatt was holding a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu along with US envoy to Israel David Friedman, an Israeli official told AFP.

Israel installed metal detectors at entrances to the site, which includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, following a deadly terrorist attack on July 14 that killed two policemen.

The Palestinian Authority and the Muslim Waqf, which administers the site, view the move as Israel asserting further control over the site. They have refused to enter the compound in protest and have prayed in the streets outside.

Israeli authorities say the metal detectors are needed because the July 14 attackers smuggled guns into the site and emerged from it to shoot the officers.

Arab rioters have clashed with police since the installation of the metal detectors. Five rioters have died during the clashes.

Three Israelis were also murdered when a an Arab terrorist snuck into a house in the town of Halamish and slaughtered the Salomon family at their dinner table Friday night.

Greenblatt and Ambassador Friedman were also expected to discuss the ongoing crisis with Jordan

An embassy security officer was stabbed Sunday night by a Jordanian terrorist in his residence adjacent to the embassy complex. After he was stabbed, the officer opened fire, killing the terrorist. A second Jordanian citizen was also killed in the incident, apparently from stray fire.

In wake of the attack, Jordanian officials have demanded Israel turn over the wounded officer for interrogation by Amman police – a violation of the diplomatic immunity enjoyed by embassy staff.

Israel has refused the demand, prompting the Jordanian government to issue an order barring the officer’s exit from Jordan.

On Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the crisis during a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Georgia.

“I spoke with the Israeli Ambassador to Jordan, Einat Schlein, twice last night and with the security official,” Netanyahu said. “I was impressed by how well she has handled things, and I promised the security officer that we will make sure to return him home [to Israel], we already have experience with [matters like] this.”

“I told them that we are holding joint talks with security and government officials in Amman at all levels to try and end this incident as quickly as possible,” Netanyahu added.

“The Jordanian ambassador to Israel came to the [Israeli] Foreign Ministry this morning for talks, and he was asked to help in the matter [of returning the officer].”

“We are also maintaining contacts through a variety of other channels with one goal in mind…to bring back our people to Israel.”