Jordan's King Abdullah II slams Israel, says Christianity 'under fire' in Jerusalem

Jordan's King Abdullah II slams Israel, says Christianity 'under fire' in Jerusalem
The Jordanian king sounded concern over the situation of Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, amid continued Israeli attacks and violations.
2 min read
21 September, 2022
Lapid (left) asked King Abdullah II not to 'incite' against Jewish Israeli settlers storming the compound [Getty]

Jordan's King Abdullah II slammed Israel on Tuesday for putting Christian holy sites in Jerusalem in danger.

"The rights of churches in Jerusalem are threatened," King Abdullah said during his speech at the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

"Christianity in the holy city is under fire... this cannot continue."

He made his comments prior to meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, the second meeting between the two leaders, where the issue of Israeli raids on Jerusalem holy sites was raised.

The king said that as custodian of both Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, Jordan was "committed to defending the rights, the precious heritage and the historic identity of the Christian people of our region".

The Jordanian monarch sounded "urgent concern" for the future of Jerusalem.

"Undermining Jerusalem’s legal and historical status quo triggers global tensions and deepens religious divides... the holy city must not be a place for hatred and division," he said.

After his speech, King Abdullah met with Israel's Lapid, who told him that he expected an increase in the number of Israeli settlers "entering" the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem during upcoming Jewish holidays.

The Israeli premier told King Abdullah that he expected the latter to "allow these incursions and not incite against them", according to Haaretz.

Jews will celebrate Rosh Hashanah - their new year - from 25 September and Yom Kippur on 4 October.

The celebrations are expected to lead to new tensions between Jewish Israeli settlers and Palestinians.

Al-Aqsa, considered the third holiest site in Islam, is often subjected to raids by Israeli settlers and far-right extremists who want to build a temple on the site. Israeli soldiers often escort the settlers on their raids.

Palestinians who retaliate are often beaten and detained.

Before meeting with the Jordanian monarch, Lapid also met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.