Jordanian King Abdullah II to Visit West Bank, Meet With Palestinian President Abbas

A Palestinian official says Jordan’s King Abdullah II is visiting the West Bank on Monday for the first time in five years.

The official, Mohammed Ishtayeh, said Sunday that the monarch is to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The rare visit is seen as a closing of ranks on a key issue – the fate of a contested Jerusalem shrine at the center of recent Israeli-Jordanian and Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

The crisis erupted when Israel installed metal detectors at the shrine, revered by Muslims and Jews, after Arab gunmen killed two Israeli policemen there. The security measures triggered Muslim protests, and Israel eventually removed the devices.

Abdullah’s role as Muslim custodian of the shrine is a key component of his legitimacy.

Abbas suspended security ties with Israel over the crisis.

Source: Associated Press