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Tuesday, 08 August 2017 11:34

Jordan and Palestine to set-up crisis committee on Al-Aqsa Mosque

AMMAN: Jordan and Palestine agreed on Monday to set up a crisis committee to study the situation at Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

Last month’s clashes at the holy site claimed the lives of 20 Palestinians, including five children, according to the Abdallah Al-Hourani Centre for Studies and Documentation.

Tensions rose after Israel erected metal detectors at the gates to the mosque site.

The probe into the crisis announced on Monday came as Jordan’s King Abdallah met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank for the first time in five years to discuss tensions at the holy site and wider political developments.

“Both sides agreed to form a joint crisis committee to evaluate the previous phase, draw lessons and evaluate any future challenges regarding the situation in Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said after the meeting.

King Abdallah’s lightning visit to the presidential headquarters in Ramallah is being seen by many as a courtesy call and a public statement of support to Palestinians.

The visit supports the relationship between Jordanians and Palestinians and aims to raise the level of Palestinian-Jordan coordination, commented Samir Barhoum, editor in chief of the Jordan Times English-language daily.

Saeb Erekat, PLO Secretary-General and chief negotiator attended Monday’s summit along with foreign ministers and heads of the intelligence services from both sides.

According to Jordan’s Petra News Agency, both leaders stressed the need to preserve the historical and legal status quo of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Haram Al-Sharif site. Changes to the arrangement will have negative consequences for the region as a whole, both leaders noted.

Abbas praised the “efforts exerted by King Abdallah to serve the Palestinian cause; through raising and defending it in all international forums.”

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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