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Benjamin Netanyahu assures Jordan of status quo at holy site

IANS 07 November 2014, 6:23

Jerusalem/Amman: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reassured King Abdullah II of Jordan that Israel does not intend to change the status quo in al- Aqsa Mosque and its compound in East Jerusalem, officials and media said.

Netanyahu and King Abdullah conversed over phone on Thursday about the mounting tensions between Arab worshipers and Jews in the flashpoint al-Aqsa Mosque compound in east Jerusalem.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated his commitment to preserve the status quo in the Temple Mount," Xinhua quoted a statement by his office as saying. He used the Jewish term for the holy site known to Muslims as Harem al-Sharif, or "Noble Sanctuary".

Netanyahu also stressed that Israel is committed "to Jordan's special status in the Temple Mount, in accordance to the bilateral peace agreement", his office said, adding that Netanyahu and King Abdullah called for "an immediate end to all acts of violence and incitement".

The king stressed on Jordan's complete rejection of any measures that would tamper with the sanctity of the al-Aqsa Mosque, endanger the mosque or change the status quo, the media report added.

The talk came a day after Jordan recalled its ambassador in Israel due to Israel's "repeated violations" against the mosque and worshippers in compound. Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour has also ordered filing an official complaint against Israel to the UN Security Council.

Jordan, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, warned last week that the treaty was under serious threat after Israel temporarily closed the mosque along with other holy sites in Jerusalem.