Jerusalem, 24 January, 2023 (TPS) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a surprise visit to Jordan, where he met in Amman with King Abdullah. It was Netanyahu’s first foreign trip since becoming Prime Minister in December.
The Prime Minister’s Office said the leaders “discussed regional issues, especially strategic, security and economic cooperation.”
A Jordanian statement said the king “stressed the need to respect the historical and legal status quo” on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
On January 17, Jordan’s Ambassador to Israel, Ghassan Majali, was held up by police when went to visit the Temple Mount. The visit was not coordinated with Israeli authorities. As the officer went to consult his commander, Majali left in protest. The ambassador returned to the site later that day without incident.
The Temple Mount, where the First and Second Temples were built, is the holiest site in Judaism. The status quo governing it goes back to 1967, when Israel liberated the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordan during the Six Day War. The holy site is administered by the Islamic Waqf, a trusteeship overseen by Jordan, while Israel maintains sovereignty and security.