Jordan vows to fight Israel unilateral policies in Jerusalem
AMMAN - Jordan's King Abdullah II vowed on Sunday to oppose any Israeli attempt to change the status of Muslim or Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.
"Jordan will continue to confront, through all available means, Israeli unilateral policies and measures in Jerusalem and preserve its Muslim and Christian holy sites, until peace is restored to the land of peace," the king said in a speech.
The king's comments came during the opening of the second regular session of Jordan's National Assembly and days after Israel closed down the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for the first time since the second Intifada amid fears of rioting.
The monarch also accused Israel of "brutal aggression" during Operation Protective Edge, vowing to mobilize international efforts to rebuild Gaza.
He called for the relaunching of final status Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as a way of preventing future bloodshed in Gaza.
Abdullah said that the talks must be based on the Arab peace initiative and lead to a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.
Jordan, which administered east Jerusalem and the West Bank before Israel seized the Palestinian territories in the 1967 Middle East war, has responsibility for holy sites in the Israeli-annexed eastern sector.
Jordan's status as custodian is enshrined in its 1994 peace treaty with Israel.
The Al-Aqsa mosque compound in east Jerusalem's Old City has been a rallying point for Palestinian resistance to perceived Jewish attempts to take control of it, sparking clashes between demonstrators and Israeli police for the past several months.
The site is holy to Muslims and Jews alike.