Tags: Israel | Middle East | benjamin netanyahu | temple | mount | jerusalem | jordan

Netanyahu Pledges Action to Jordan's King in Temple Mount Crisis

By    |   Thursday, 06 November 2014 08:44 PM

In a Thursday phone call to Jordan's Abdullah II, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to restore calm and end escalating tensions at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The holy site in the east side of the city was closed recently to prevent further violence following a drive-by shooting of a right-wing activist. It then re-opened, but only to select groups — men over the age of 50 and all women.

According to The New York Times, Netanyahu spoke with Abdullah on the phone and said Israel, which handles security of the holy site, will do its part to restore order. Jordan manages the site.

Netanyahu pleaded for calmness to return to the site during his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday after months of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police forces.

"Since the days of Abraham, the Temple Mount has been the holiest site for our people and with this, the Temple Mount is also the most sensitive kilometer on earth," Netanyahu said. "Alongside our determined stance for our rights, we are determined to maintain the status quo for all the religions in order to prevent an eruption."

The Temple Mount is the holiest place within the Jewish faith. In Islam, however, the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the site is the third holiest site.

According to Petra, a Jordanian news agency, Netanyahu told Abdullah that Israel will diffuse tensions at the site while at the same time maintaining the status quo when it comes to its security practices.

Israel captured east Jerusalem — with its sites sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians — from Jordan in the 1967 war. Palestinians are demanding the territory for their future capital. The fate of the area is an emotional issue for Jews and Muslims and its future lies at the heart of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Last week in Jerusalem, a Palestinian gunman on a motorcycle shot and seriously wounded a U.S.-born activist who was a leading voice in expanding Jewish prayer rights on the hilltop complex. Muslim worshipers view Jewish prayer at the site as a provocation, and Israeli authorities place tough restrictions on it.

Israel has accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has called for banning Jews from the holy site, of inciting the violence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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In a Thursday phone call to Jordan's Abdullah II, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to restore calm and end escalating tensions at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
benjamin netanyahu, temple, mount, jerusalem, jordan
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2014-44-06
Thursday, 06 November 2014 08:44 PM
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