Herzog meets King Abdullah in bid for Ramadan calm

Wednesday’s meeting was the first public, formal visit to Jordan by an Israeli president.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Israeli President Isaac Herzog met with Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman on Wednesday in a bid to restore Palestinian calm ahead of Ramadan.

The two discussed issues privately before being joined by their respective delegations. The main agenda of their talks was the rising Israeli-Palestinian tensions ahead of the Islamic month of Ramadan.

This year, the Passover, Easter and Ramadan overlap on the calendar.

The king condemned Tuesday’s terror attack in B’nei Brak, denouncing “tragic attacks on civilians on both sides, and especially what happened last night.”

“Every life matters,” Abdullah said. Violence “in all of its forms… continues to provide a fertile ground for extremism.”

On Tuesday night, Dia’a Hamarshi, from the Palestinian village of Yaban, near Jenin, went on a shooting spree, killing three Israelis and two Ukrainians.

Palestinian violence rises during the month of Ramadan. This year, Palestinians point to Sheikh Jarrah, security measures at the Temple Mount, and a possible hunger strike by security prisoners as sources of tension.

The Islamic Wakf, which administers the Temple Mount, is overseen by Jordan, making King Abdullah a key figure in efforts maintain calm. He specifically asked Herzog that no restrictions be placed on Palestinian worshippers at the site.

Although Israel and Jordan made peace in 1994, Wednesday’s meeting was the first public, formal visit to Jordan by an Israeli president.

The visit follows Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s meeting with the king on Tuesday. On Monday, Abdullah visited Ramallah for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.