US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Monday with Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi about the recent violence on the Temple Mount and in Jerusalem, the State Department announced Tuesday.
The State Department said: "Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi yesterday regarding increased tensions and recent violence in Israel and the West Bank, including at Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. The Secretary and Foreign Minister discussed the importance of Israelis and Palestinians working to end the cycle of violence by refraining from actions and rhetoric that further escalate tensions. Secretary Blinken emphasized the importance of upholding the historic status quo at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, and appreciation for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s special role as custodian of Muslim holy places in Jerusalem. The Secretary reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to stability in the region and support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
Today, Blinken also spoke to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid about the situation on the Temple Mount.
The official PA news agency Wafa reported that Blinken told Abbas that the US administration had emphasized to Israel the importance of preserving the historic condition of the Temple Mount and the freedom of worship of Muslim worshipers.
In addition, according to the report, Blinken condemned the 'settler violence', expressed opposition to the demolition of houses and the expulsion of PA residents in Area C and IDF activity in Area A, noting that he demanded that Israel improve the situation in the PA territories.
Blinkan's position is in line with the conditions set by the United Arab List (Ra'am) for its remaining in the coalition, including a demand for the government's commitment to maintaining the status quo at the Al Aqsa Mosque and the holy sites and to prevent Jews from praying on the Temple Mount.
Foreign Minister's Lapid's office said that Lapid briefed the Secretary of State on the efforts made by Israel to allow freedom of worship for members of the three religions in Jerusalem. The two discussed the importance of Passover, Easter and Ramadan. The Foreign Minister emphasized the considered and responsible Israeli effort in the face of riots by hundreds of Muslim extremists on the Temple Mount and the false information and propaganda, which are disseminated by extremists, who incite fire and violence instead of bringing calm. Minister Lapid told the Secretary of State that Israel would not be willing to accept calls for support for violence and stressed the need for international support for the return of peace to Jerusalem.
Jordanian officials yesterday issued statements of support of rioters who attacked policer on the Temple Mount at Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall, while condemning Israel's response to the violence.
Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh said at a Parliamentary session: "I congratulate all Palestinians and all Jordanian Islamic Waqf workers who stand as tall as a turret and those who throw stones at pro-Zionists who defile the Al Aqsa Mosque in the security of the Israeli occupation government."
The Jordanian prime minister also said that Israel's attempt to "divide the Al Aqsa Mosque" by allegedly allowing Jews times to pray on the Temple Mount was halted and they will continue to block it: "We will not allow this."
At the same time, the Jordanian parliament submitted to the government a memorandum signed by 87 members demanding the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Jordan in protest of what has been called the "Israeli attacks on the Al Aqsa Mosque."
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused Jordan of joining Hamas' campaign of "wild incitement" against Israel.
"In the past week, a wild Hamas-led incitement campaign has been waged against us," Bennett said.
"Here's the truth: Israel is doing everything so that everyone, as always, can celebrate the holidays safely - Jews, Muslims and Christians. We expect everyone not to join in the lies and certainly not to encourage violence against Jews.
"The State of Israel will continue to keep our capital Jerusalem open to all," Bennett concluded.