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Jordan king warns Israeli PM against violations of 'historic' al-Aqsa status quo

Jordan’s King Abdallah II has cautioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against attempts at changing the status quo of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in light of increasing Israeli desecrations of the holy place.

During a surprise visit Netanyahu paid to Amman on Tuesday, King Abdallah told the far-right Israeli PM that the Israeli regime should respect the “historic and legal status quo in the Holy al-Aqsa mosque and not violate it.”

The Jordanian king was quoted as telling the Israeli leader that an end to violence was crucial to allow long-stalled “peace” talks to resume between the Palestinians and the Israeli regime.

Netanyahu’s return to power has deepened Amman’s concerns that extremist policies, which include accelerated settlement expansion in the Palestinian occupied territories in the West Bank, will lead to a new cycle of violence.

Jordan signed a so-called peace deal with Israel in 1994, but Jordanians are at odds with their government and oppose any form of normalization of ties with the occupying regime.

Since the winning of the new extremist far-right groups in the elections, the desecration of the al-Aqsa Mosque has been on the rise.

Early in January, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who was sworn as Israeli minister of “security,” entered the holy site of al-Aqsa Mosque through the Moroccan Gate, also known as the Mughrabi Gate, in a move that Palestinians labeled an “unprecedented provocation.”

Also on January 20, the Middle East Monitor published footage showing Israelis drinking alcohol and urinating in the al-Aqsa compound while Israeli police stood by and did nothing.

The event lasted several hours, while simultaneously dozens of Israeli extremist settlers stormed the vicinity, danced outside the mosque’s Bab Al-Amoud gate and raised the Israeli flag.

Hardline Israeli legislators and extremist settlers regularly storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city, a provocative move that infuriates Palestinians. Such mass settler break-ins almost always take place at the behest of Tel Aviv-backed temple groups and under the auspices of the Israeli police in al-Quds.

The new wave of desecration comes as one of the most far-right cabinets have taken control of Israel, raising fears of probable attempts to change the status quo of al-Aqsa Mosque. Extremist right-wing groups have openly called for turning al-Aqsa into a Jewish worship area and tearing down the Islamic shrines in order to build a Jewish temple on the location.

The issue has been a major flash point between the Israeli occupation and Palestinians for decades. It was the epicenter of the 2000-2005 Palestinian Intifada, also known as the Uprising.

The al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.

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