Jordan's King Abdullah II to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah ahead of 'Ramadan tensions'

Jordan's King Abdullah II to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah ahead of 'Ramadan tensions'
The two leaders are expected to discuss the likely tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem before Ramadan.
2 min read
22 March, 2022
Jordan's king will visit the Occupied Palestinian territories later this month for the first time since 2017 [Getty]

Jordan's King Abdullah II is set to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later this month before the onset of Ramadan, a Palestinian Authority official told Haaretz.  

This will be King Abdullah's first visit to the occupied Palestinian Territories since 2017.

The official said that President Abbas plans to use the meeting to send a message to US President Joe Biden urging him to push a diplomatic peace process between the Palestinians and Israeli authorities. 

Biden has done little to further the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians since he took office, while relations between the two sides were badly raptured during former President Donald Trump's term in office.

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The two leaders are also set to discuss the likelihood of tensions during Ramadan in Jerusalem. The holy month will coincide with the Jewish festival of Passover, which could see Israelis enter the Al-Aqsa complex - seen as a highly provocative act by most Palestinians.

Jordan is the custodian of the Al-Aqsa complex in Jerusalem, Islam's third holiest site.

"If Israel wants to prevent friction, it must prevent settlers' incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque throughout Ramadan, which coincides with the Jewish Passover holiday," the unnamed PA official was quoted by  Arab News as saying.

"Let the Jews pray in the places designated for them, and leave Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan to perform the Muslim prayer."

King Abdullah II met with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Amman earlier this month where they also discussed tensions.

"We decided that we must act together to quell tensions and promote understanding, mainly ahead of the month of Ramadan and Passover holiday," said a statement from Lapid’s office.

Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa have repeatedly been attacked inside the holy compound over the past few years.

Earlier this year, Israeli forces detained 20 Palestinians and attacked other worshippers who were gathered near Al-Aqsa Mosque to celebrate the Muslim festival of Al-Israa and Miraj.  

A brutal suppression of protests and congregations at Al-Aqsa last year sparked a war between Israel and Hamas which left around 256 Palestinians dead, including 128 civilians, according to the UN.