Palestinians killed in recent Al-Aqsa violence: NGO

Palestinian Hamas-affiliated lawmaker Muhammad Hassan Abu Tir

Palestinian Hamas-affiliated lawmaker Muhammad Hassan Abu Tir

Jordan's King Abdullah II has begun a rare visit to the occupied West Bank to meet Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, amid shared tensions with Israel over al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the Jerusalem holy site.

Israel installed metal detectors at the gates of the site three weeks ago after three Palestinians opened fire on Israeli police forces deployed to the area, killing two of them.

Petra said "president Abbas praised the role of Jordan and the king in reopening the mosque and removing the recent crisis and said that Hashemite sponsorship over Islamic and Christian holy sites is very important to protect them".

Jordan's ad-Dustour newspaper on Monday quoted the Palestinian ambassador in Amman, Atallah Kheiry as terming the visit "historic".

A senior Palestinian official told Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv that Israel had made Abbas a virtual prisoner, refusing to allow him to leave Ramallah for his perceived failings in controlling the recent crisis over the Temple Mount.

King Abdullah, meanwhile, praised United States president Donald Trump as being "committed to work for peace between Palestinians and Israelis", according to Petra.

That's not really going to play well in Congress, as Israel has long presented these programs as essentially pay for terror attacks, and of course, doesn't account for a large number of Palestinians in Israeli prisons held without charges, or just on broad suspicion of "incitement".

In January US President Donald Trump came to power promising to push Israelis and Palestinians towards a peace deal, raising brief hopes among Palestinians that his unconventional approach could achieve results. Jordan is waiting to hear the outcome of Israel's investigation into the shooting incident.

When Netanyahu warmly greeted the guard upon his return to Israel, Abdullah said there would be diplomatic consequences.

The visit is reportedly expected to bolster Abbas' political position as he has recently severed political ties with Israel.

Jordan intervened in July to help resolve a crisis over access to the ultra-sensitive Haram al-Sharif mosque compound known to Jews as Temple Mount.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the king reiterated his full support of the Palestinian people and of the Abbas-led Palestinian Authority (PA), while Abbas expressed his appreciation of Jordan for "defending" the Palestinian cause on the worldwide stage.

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