The White House confirmed, on Friday, the Biden administration’s recognition of Jordan’s role in overseeing Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, after a meeting between President King Abdullah II in Washington.
US President Joe Biden met the Jordanian monarch at the White House after repeated clashes between police and worshipers at the holy site in the Old City during the holy month of Ramadan. These incidents escalated diplomatic tensions between Israel and Jordan.
In a statement after the meeting, the White House said Biden “reiterated his strong support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and noted the need to preserve the historic status quo at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.” Using the names of holy places used by Muslims and Jews.
The White House added: “The President also acknowledged the critical role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as the guardian of the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.”
Jordan ruled the West Bank and East Jerusalem from 1948 until the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel occupied the area and then claimed sovereignty over the Old City and the expansion of Jerusalem.
Jordan has always maintained that its treaties with Israel grant it custodianship of the Christian and Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem; While Israel has never accepted this claim, it grants the day-to-day management of the Temple Mount to Jordan-funded endowments.
His Majesty King Abdullah II, in his meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House in the presence of HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein, affirmed the solid friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries. #Jordan And #United States of America #JORoyalVisit Tweet embed @White House pic.twitter.com/jWyOKxO5AZ
– RHC (RHCJO) May 13, 2022
The Temple Mount, commonly known as the Haram al-Sharif or Al-Aqsa compound for Muslims, is the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest site in Islam.
It has long been a flashpoint for violence and conflict, with tensions rising again in recent weeks, including Palestinian riots, clashes with Israeli police, and attempts by Jews to pray on the campus.
Any changes to the long-standing status quo on the mountain, according to which non-Muslims can visit without praying, could lead to violence.
Recent tensions at the holy site came amid terrorist attacks against Israelis, pressure from Israel’s allies, threats from Hamas, and an exacerbation of the alliance’s ongoing crisis.
Abdullah condemned Israel over the clashes, criticized the state for allowing Jewish pilgrims to enter the site, and called on the Israeli government to respect the “current historical and legal situation” there, according to a recent statement by the Royal Hashemite Court.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. Tuesday said That Israel does not claim holy places in Jerusalem, which he said is “occupied Palestinian territory.”
In an interview with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan channel, the senior diplomat stated that “Israel has no sovereignty in Al-Aqsa Mosque – it is a place of worship for Muslims. Only the Jordanian Waqf has full authority over the management of the complex.”
On Friday, Safadi criticized Israel after police in Jerusalem beat mourners at the funeral of Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Oqla, who was killed during a shootout between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank on Wednesday.
He said, “The horrific and inhuman Israeli aggression against the mourners at the funeral requires a conscious global response.”
The White House called the incident “extremely troubling,” and Biden said it “must be investigated.”
Police said they interfered with the funeral procession because rioters took Abu Okla’s coffin against her family’s wishes and threw objects at the officers.
Safadi also blamed Israel for the killing of Abu Okla on Friday. Israel said it could not determine who shot it without examining the fatal bullet, while the Palestinians blamed Israel and rejected offers of a joint investigation.
Al-Safadi said: “All data and witnesses indicate that she was shot dead by the occupation soldiers. This crime requires international measures.”