Thursday, December 29, 2022

Jordanian King Abdullah Warns Israel Not To Cross 'Red Lines' At Temple Mt

Jordan’s Abdullah warns Israel not to cross ‘red lines’ on Jerusalem holy sites

Jordanian King Abdullah II has warned the incoming Israeli government not to cross Jordan’s “red lines” with regard to Jerusalem’s holy sites, while expressing concern over the potential for a massive outbreak of Palestinian unrest.

In an interview with CNN that aired Wednesday, Abdullah was asked if he believes that the status quo in Jerusalem and Jordan’s role were under threat.

Jordan views itself as a custodian of the Temple Mount, setting up a potential clash with hardline lawmakers from incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition like Otzmah Yehudit chief Itamar Ben Gvir, who has pushed for Israel to assert its sovereignty over the Jerusalem holy site and allow Jewish worship there.

“You always have those people that will try and push that and that is a concern,” Abdullah said without mentioning names.

“If people want to get into a conflict with us, we are quite prepared. I always like to believe that ‘Let’s look at the glass half full,’ but we have set red lines and if people want to push those red lines then we will deal with that,” he added

Abdullah noted that “there are a lot of people in Israel concerned as much as we are.”

Small changes at the site or to that arrangement are liable to spark protests which could snowball beyond Jordan or the Palestinians to the wider Muslim world.

Ben Gvir and other far-right politicians have long pushed for changes to the status quo, under which only Muslims are allowed to worship within the compound while Jews may visit Judaism’s holiest site, but not pray there.

The Otzma Yehudit leader will head a newly created National Security Ministry overseeing police in the next government. The Israel Police sets day-to-day policies at the Temple Mount, potentially giving Ben Gvir significant sway over arrangements at the flashpoint site.

However, the coalition deal signed by all of Netanyahu’s bloc stipulates that the status quo “with regard to the holy places” will be preserved.

In the CNN interview, Abdullah was also asked if he was concerned about the prospect of a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising, following months of violence in the West Bank.

“We have to be concerned about the next intifada,” Abdullah said. “And if that happens that’s a complete breakdown of law and order and one that neither the Israelis nor Palestinians will benefit from.

“That’s a tinderbox that if it flashes, it’s something that I don’t think we’ll be able to walk away from in the near future,” he added.

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