Jordan’s King Says Muslims Have ‘Duty to Deter Israeli Escalation’ in Jerusalem

King Abdullah II of Jordan (L) and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the welcoming ceremony in the occupied West Bank town of Ramallah. (Photo: via Abbas FB Page)

Jordan’s King Abdullah II said Sunday that Muslims have a duty to “safeguard” Jerusalem’s holy sites, in a meeting in Amman with Muslim and Christian religious leaders from the occupied city, The New Arab reported.

A statement from the royal court said the king told the delegation, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, that Jordan “will always be with you”, which is the custodian of Jerusalem’s holy sites.

“It is the duty of every Muslim to deter Israeli escalations against… holy sites in Jerusalem,” the king said according to the statement.

The meeting follows extreme tensions with the Israeli government, particularly after recent remarks by the extremist Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich denying the existence of the Palestinian people.

During Sunday’s meeting the Jordanian king “called on the international community to take a stand against the exclusionary and racist statements made recently by some Israeli officials”, the statement said.

This year has seen an uptick in violence against Palestinians, with at least 94 killed in 2023 alone.

King Abdullah touted a longtime commitment to preserving “peace and harmony” at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound – Islam’s third holiest site which Jordan administers but is the target of regular stormings by Israeli extremists.

King Abdullah hailed “Jerusalemites’… efforts to safeguard” the holy sites and “stressed the need to stop the displacement of Christians, as well as the repeated attacks on churches, religious figures and Christian property in Jerusalem”, according to the statement.

Christian holy sites in Jerusalem have also witnessed a worrying rise in attacks by Israeli extremists.

On Friday, church leaders in Jerusalem appealed to the Israeli government to ensure Christians can worship freely during Easter and its run-up, expressing concern at mounting violence and acts of desecration over the past year.

(The New Arab, PC)

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