After Jordan’s absence from the “Negev Summit”… A reading of King Abdullah’s visit to the Palestinian territories


Amman, Jordan (CNN) — Observers describe the visit made by Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Monday to the city of Ramallah as exceptional for several considerations, foremost of which are the timing of the visit and the level of the accompanying delegation, not to mention the direct message in support of the Palestinian leadership, and the Jordanian “early” warning. Directed to the Israeli side to cordon off any possible escalation, during the month of Ramadan, against the Palestinian worshipers in the Temple Mount.

The visit, which followed an unprecedented political movement in the region, including the consultative meeting with the participation of Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iraq at a royal invitation in the city of Aqaba, also came after a Jordanian diplomatic apology for the “Negev Summit”, which for the first time brought together 4 foreign ministers of Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt and the UAE with the Minister of Foreign Affairs American Anthony Blinken, and was hosted by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

But the Ramallah visit, which reinforced the Jordanian historical position in support of the Palestinian cause, according to informed sources, is also “unprecedented”; Years after a previous visit in 2014, which witnessed the last round of negotiations to revive the peace process, at the initiative of the then US Secretary of State, John Kerry, to discuss an agreement, but the initiative did not produce tangible results.

The same sources pointed out the necessity of interpreting the visit within the framework of its declared goal, which King Abdullah II summarized with the phrase “we and the Palestinians are closest to each other and in the same trench.”

It seems that the escort of young Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah, Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, who has just apologized for the Negev meeting in statements attributed to Jordanian sources recently, in addition to the presence of the Director of the Intelligence Service, Major General Ahmed Hosni in a rare public appearance for him, opens The possibilities are for a Jordanian invitation to hold a tripartite meeting with the Israelis, according to the director of the Jerusalem Center for Political Studies, writer Oraib Rantawi, at a time when the Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, is not showing any signs of negotiation.

Al-Rantawi says: “We may or may not be in front of the 2014 scenario. There are differences within the Israeli government over the course of negotiations, and Lapid when he met the King in Amman had this matter, but what is happening on the ground daily against the Palestinians from Israeli violations will not extinguish the spark of Palestinian anger.”

Speaking to CNN in Arabic, Al-Rantawi believes that the visit is a message of support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and “a strong shipment of support for the Palestinian Authority, as well as an early warning message to cordon off any possible explosion of the situation in Jerusalem with the continued threats of the religious and national right, the storming of the Temple Mount, and the armed attack on Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood,” as he put it.

Al-Rantawi goes on to say that Jordan undoubtedly has fears for the future of the Palestinian National Authority, and for the emergence of challenges facing it (Jordan) in fulfilling the requirements of the Hashemite care of Islamic and Christian sanctities in the required manner, and for fear of “sparks flying throughout the Palestinian territories,” with the simultaneous occurrence of crises in the region such as The war on Ukraine.

Al-Rantawi believes that, in the midst of these developments, Jordan continues to use its strong relations, including the Jordanian-Israeli relations, especially the security and military ones, through whose channels the Israeli Foreign Minister Lapid can play a role in moving the negotiation track.

The visit coincided with a group of settlers storming the Petra Hotel, located in one of Jerusalem’s squares, owned by the Jerusalem Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and rented from a Jerusalem family called “Qurash”, as it overlooks the road leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The Council of Endowments, Islamic Affairs and Holy Sanctuaries in Jerusalem, affiliated with the Jordanian Ministry of Endowments, issued a statement, a copy of which was received by CNN in Arabic, in which it affirmed the historical and legal right that has existed since 1967, which exclusively authorizes the Council of Churches to manage Christian endowments affairs in Jerusalem in accordance with international norms, including a hotel. Petra.

US Secretary of State Blinken said during a press conference at the end of the Negev Summit: “We will face threats from Iran and its proxies in the region,” adding: “A few years ago, we would not have imagined this meeting in Israel.”

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