Jordanian prince cancels Temple Mount visit over security dispute

When bin Abdullah arrived at the crossing point, his security team was larger and more heavily armed than the Israeli government had expected.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah unexpectedly cancelled a visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Wednesday after Israeli authorities refused to let him enter the Jewish State with his entourage of heavily armed bodyguards, Kan News reported.

The prince’s visit to the Waqf-controlled site was coordinated in advance with the Israeli government, who permitted bin Abdullah to cross from Jordan into Israel via the Allenby Bridge with his security detail in tow.

But when bin Abdullah arrived at the crossing point, his security team was larger and more heavily armed than the Israeli government had expected.

After informing bin Abdullah that his beefed-up security team would not be granted permission to enter the country, the prince turned back and cancelled the visit.

The Temple Mount is a flashpoint site, where tensions run high and previous diplomatic visitors from Saudi Arabia have been physically attacked.

Jordan’s first king and bin Abdullah’s great-grandfather, Abdullah I of Jordan, was assassinated in 1951 by a Palestinian at the Temple Mount.

It’s thought that the incident may strain tensions between Israel and Jordan.

Although the countries signed a peace treaty in 1994, a condition of which solidified Jordan’s role as the guardian of the Temple Mount, the nations maintain an icy peace that has been punctuated by periods of tension and violence.

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In 1997, Jordanian Army Corporal Ahmed Daqamseh opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls from Beit Shemesh, who were on a field trip visiting the joint Israeli-Jordanian tourist site called the Island of Peace.

Seven girls, all in their early teens, were killed. Daqamseh was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In 2017, the head of security at Israel’s embassy in Jordan shot and killed a Jordanian man who had attacked him with a screwdriver.

Another Jordanian, who was an innocent bystander, was also killed in the incident.

The event sparked a series of diplomatic rows, with the Israeli embassy in Amman closed for several months and the Jordanian government demanding to criminally prosecute the Israeli security guard.