“To me, Jerusalem is a red line, and all my people are with me,” King Abdullah II of Jordan said on Wednesday.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
In the wake of recent tensions on the Temple Mount, King Abdullah II of Jordan said, “To me, Jerusalem is a red line, and all my people are with me.” His comments, made on Wednesday during a visit to the city of Zarqa, north of Jordan’s capital of Amman, were reported by China’s Xinhua news agency.
“King Abdullah affirmed that his country’s commitment to the holy city is clear, as Jordan has a historical duty towards Jerusalem as well as the Islamic and Christian holy sites there,” the news agency reported.
“No one can pressure Jordan on this matter, and the answer will be no. All Jordanians stand with me on Jerusalem. At the end of the day, Arabs and Muslims will stand with us as well,” he said.
King Abdullah also rejected the possibility that Jordan could replace Judea and Samaria as a state for the Palestinians, saying “anyone who speaks about an alternative homeland, the answer is no.”
Abdullah’s comments come amid heightened tensions on the Temple Mount, whose Muslim holy places are in the hands of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, which is controlled by Jordan.
The legitimacy of the Jordanian king’s rule is generally considered to be linked to his successful oversight of these holy places.
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, an Israel-based think tank, says that Fatah sources say that Jordan is behind the recent “effort to take control of the Gate of Mercy building on the Temple Mount.” Last month, Muslims at the site forced open an area near the Gate of Mercy that had been closed by Israeli authorities in 2003.
On Feb. 20, Palestinians removed a metal gate that Israeli police had placed at the entrance to the gate and held prayers in the area. In response, Israel briefly arrested two top officials of the Waqf.
According to JCPA, the reason that Jordan has started making provocative moves in area is that Abdullah fears that his kingdom’s authority over the Temple Mount will be curtailed as part of Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century,’ with rumors afloat that Saudi Arabia will be given a special status in the area as part of a Mideast peace deal.
Jordan also worries that Israel intends to establish a synagogue on the Temple Mount, JCPA says.
“Its main concern is that it will be alleged that while the Hashemite Kingdom was serving as guardian of the mosque of Al-Aqsa, Israel managed to take a physical hold of the place. That would go down in Muslim history as an eternal disgrace and would severely damage the image of the Hashemite dynasty, which claims it is directly descended from the prophet Mohammed,” JCPA says.