Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unexpectedly met Jordan’s King Abdullah II. According to the prime minister’s office, the two leaders discussed “strategic, security and economic cooperation” during the meeting, the first between the leaders in more than four years.

On the other hand, and according to the Israeli press, Jordan said in a statement that Abdullah “emphasized the need to respect the historical and legal status” of the Temple Mount and the Al Aqsa Mosque”, in a direct allusion to the recent visit to the site of the Israeli Security Minister, the extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir – who deserved the disapproval of a large majority of the international community.

Jordan also recalled, according to the same sources, the need for the region to move towards a two-State solution with East Jerusalem as its capital.

During Netanyahu’s last stint as prime minister, between 2009 and 2021, ties between Tel Aviv and Amman deteriorated sharply, with Abdullah claiming in 2019 that relations had reached “the lowest level” after a series of incidents that led Jordan to withdraw its ambassador to Israel.

Abdullah last met Netanyahu in 2018, on another trip that was kept secret until after it happened. Netanyahu’s predecessor, Yair Lapid, met with Abdullah in Jordan and at the United Nations, and former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (who should have alternated with Lapid) also met with Jordan’s King in Amman.

For analysts, Netanyahu’s trip, which was also not previously announced, could mean that the Israeli prime minister knows that Ben-Gvir’s presence on the Temple Mount was a counterproductive show of force, which common sense should have have avoided. The meeting between the two thus seems to be a way of restoring a minimum of understanding between the two capitals – in the sense that common diplomacy does not return to the ‘zero degree’ of 2019.

The Waqf and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs Department of Jerusalem, also known as the Jerusalem Waqf or Jordanian Waqf, is the Jordanian-designated organization that is responsible for controlling and managing the current Islamic buildings on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. Jerusalem. The Waqf is governed by an 18-member board headed by a director, all appointed by Jordan. An agreement signed in 2013 between the State of Palestine (represented by Mahmoud Abbas) and Abdullah II recognized Jordan’s role in the management of Jerusalem’s holy sites – an agreement that replaced a previous verbal understanding.

Meanwhile, internally, Netanyahu’s government is experiencing expected difficulties in convincing the country of the pertinence of the reform that aims to reduce the degree of independence of the judiciary vis-à-vis political power.

“The reform will not be implemented because half of the country – much more than half, polls show that up to 30% of Likud members [o partido de Netanyahu] – do not want these reforms and therefore it will not happen,” MP Ram Ben Barak, a member of Yesh Atid, the party that now leads the opposition, told a radio station.


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