Jordan's King Abdullah said on Monday that Israel’s “unilateral provocative acts” against Muslim worshippers at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque undermined the prospects of peace, while Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned against “incitement.”
King Abdullah held several phone calls with Arab leaders and the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
He discussed the “importance of stopping all illegal and provocative Israeli measures in Jerusalem that violate the historical and legal status quo at Al Aqsa Mosque and push towards further escalation,” state news agency Petra reported.
He added: “Unilateral Israeli measures in the Palestinian Territories could compromise the two-state solution and prospects of comprehensive peace, expressing rejection of attempts to alter the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem.”
The King’s statements come as Palestinian-Israeli tensions are heightened due to clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.
The violence at Al-Aqsa compound started early Friday and has wounded over 170 people, mostly Palestinians.
The violent clashes come at a sensitive time when the Muslim holy month of Ramadan coincides with the Jewish Passover festival.
Al-Aqsa compound is the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest site for the Jews who refer to it as the Temple Mount. It has historically been a flashpoint for Palestinian-Israeli clashes.
Jordan’s royal Hashemite family has been the custodian of the holy sites in eastern Jerusalem since 1924.
Israel warns against ‘incitement’
Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh told parliament on Monday he supported Palestinians who threw rocks at Israeli forces during the clashes in Jerusalem.
“I salute every Palestinian… who stands proudly and throws their stones… at all of Zionists who desecrate Al-Aqsa Mosque with the protection of the Israeli occupation government,” Petra cited him as saying.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet decried the statements blaming Israel for the violence and warned against “incitement” following al-Khasawneh’s speech.
“I view with utmost severity the remarks accusing Israel of the violence directed against us, and there are those who are encouraging rock-throwing and the use of violence against the citizens of Israel,” Bennet said in a video statement.
He added: “This is unacceptable to us. This is a reward for the inciters, especially Hamas, which are trying to ignite violence in Jerusalem. We will not allow this to happen.”
Earlier on Monday, Israel’s military reported intercepting a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, adding that the rocket launch was the first in seven months.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility by any Palestinian party for the rocket launch.