King Abdullah discusses 'avoiding escalation' with Abbas as Israeli settlers seize more land in Jerusalem
Israel should end "all unilateral measures in Jerusalem," said Jordan's King Abdullah during his meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Monday, the Jordanian government said in a statement.
The statement noted that both leaders discussed "enhancing stability, especially during the holy month of Ramadan", and "avoiding any escalation that might undermine chances for peace."
The Jordanian king's visit to Ramallah came three weeks after he hosted Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid in Amman, where the two discussed lowering tensions in Jerusalem ahead of the Muslim holy month.
King Abdullah is expected to meet Israeli president Isaac Herzog on Wednesday. The king's meetings noticeably coincided with the summit held in the Naqab desert between the US secretary of state, the Israeli foreign minister and his counterparts of all Arab countries who have relations with Israel, except Jordan.
His Majesty King Abdullah II and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein are received by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas upon arrival at the Palestinian presidency in Ramallah #Jordan #Palestine 🇯🇴🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/rphlnEHBqe— RHC (@RHCJO) March 28, 2022
Earlier in March, Israeli media reported that the Israeli government has prepared special measures to avoid escalation with the Palestinians during Ramadan, which coincides this year with the 74th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, the first anniversary of the Palestinian 'May uprising', which started over Jerusalem during Ramadan, and with the Jewish holiday of Passover.
Israeli media also reported that the Jordanian ambassador to Israel had requested from the Israeli government not to allow Israeli settlers into the Al-Aqsa compound during the second half of the Muslim holy month, in order to avoid escalations. It was later reported that the Israeli government had rejected that request.
Days ahead of the month of Ramadan,— Marian Houk (@Marianhouk) March 28, 2022
Jordan's King Abdullah II + entourage travelled to Ramallah for an unusual all-hands-on-deck meeting
w/ Palestinian President Abbas + aides.
King Abdullah re-stated Jordan's support for an independent Palestinian state beside/next to Israel https://t.co/2SSynPBIzw
On Monday, Israeli settlers took over the "Petra Hotel" building in Jerusalem's old city. Backed by the Israeli police, the settlers then clashed with Palestinians in the area.
A Palestinian lawyer, Madhat Dibeh, who provides legal advice to the Palestinian families affected by the seizure was also detained for several hours by the Israeli police during the incident.
Israeli occupation forces storm the Petra Hotel in occupied Jerusalem and assault Palestinian young men. pic.twitter.com/jTUfJ8bVub— #SaveSheikhJarra #SaveSilwan #BDS #Yemen #Kashmir (@ChristineJameis) March 27, 2022
Dibeh told The New Arab that "Israeli settlers with the help of the police expelled the Palestinian families who live in the building with the excuse that they had a court order."
"The order did not mention the Qarresh family, who have a 'protected tenant' status, and therefore the expulsion is illegal," he said. "I was giving this legal advice to the family, telling them to go to the court and object, but I was arrested for six hours until the expulsion took place."
The "Petra Hotel" building was part of a large property sold by the Greek-controlled Orthodox church to the Ateret Cohanim Israeli settler organization in 2004. Palestinian families who have been living in the building as renters since 1945 have been battling settlers in Israeli courts for nearly 20 years.
Petra hotel is the subject of an 18-year legal battle between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and powerful settler group Ateret Cohanim https://t.co/uVKeuH6ppX— Al-Shabaka الشبكة (@AlShabaka) March 29, 2022
On Thursday, Israeli settlers seized a rooftop apartment at a Palestinian house in Jerusalem's Silwan, under the protection of Israeli police.
Last year, Israeli attempts to expel Palestinian families from Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood sparked a wave of protests that expanded across the West Bank and Palestinian towns in Israel and provoked an 11-day military confrontation between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.
On Monday, Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah urged King Abdullah to help them save their homes, on the occasion of his visit to the country.