24 April 2019

Jordan’s King Abdullah II declared in March that Jerusalem was “a red line” for his kingdom amid greater ISraeli belligerence over Bab ar-Rahmah at Masjid al-Aqsa.

“Jerusalem is a red line and we won’t change our stance. It is our duty to protect the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem,” Abdullah said while touring the Jordanian city of Zarqa.

Abdullah’s comments came after an Occupation court said the compound known as the Gate of Mercy or Golden Gate at al-Aqsa should be closed while legal proceedings continue.

Abdullah also said, during a visit to the Zarqa Governorate outside Amman, that he’s under pressure to alter his country’s historic role as custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites, but that he won’t change his position.

“I will never change my position toward Jerusalem in my life,” Abdullah said. “All my people are with me.”

He did not specify what kind of pressure he was encountering.

Middle East pundits have in the past suggested that Saudi Arabia is interested in taking over responsibility for the al-Aqsa and the mosques within its compound. Saudi Arabia is already the custodian of the two holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, both within its territory.

In January 2018, the-then opposition leader Isaac Herzog said Saudi Arabia could play a key role in Jerusalem, taking responsibility for administering Muslim holy sites in any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Herzog told Elaph, a London-based independent Arabic news site that “Saudi Arabia could play a big role in the issue [of Jerusalem].”

With Israel’s elections now over, the Trump administration is poised to reveal its “deal of the century” for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is believed to include a broader development of regional cooperation between Israel and moderate Sunni states, of which Saudi Arabia is the leading powerhouse.

SOURCE: Times of Israel