King Abdullah Orders to Boycott 20 Year Anniversary of Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty

Despite Israel’s PM Netanyahu’s reassurances to Abdullah, Jordan’s king instructs Kingdom officials not to attend the 20th anniversary ceremony for peace accords in Jordan Valley, citing Temple Mount tensions as reason.

By Cynthia Blank


Israel’s tension with Jordan continues – possibly leaving the peace agreement between the two countries in jeopardy.

Days after withdrawing its ambassador to Israel back to Jordan, citing clashes on the Temple Mount, King Abdullah II reportedly cancelled Jordanian participation in a ceremony scheduled to begin this week marking 20 years of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty.

Despite Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reassurances to Abdullah by telephone Thursday that he has no intention of changing the status quo on the Temple Mount, despite the demands of Jewish activists, the cancellation was still implemented.

Jordan maintains control over holy sites in Arab-majority parts of Jerusalem via the Jordanian government-run Waqf Islamic trust, which expressly forbids Jewish prayer on Muslim holy sites.

Jordan’s status as “custodian” on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, and elsewhere in Jerusalem is enshrined in the 1994 peace treaty with the Jewish state.

Recently, King Abdullah has come out vowing to fight any changes Israel makes to the status quo of Muslim holy sites. “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 his conversation with Netanyahu Thursday, both leaders “called for an immediate end to the violence and incitement,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s office said, with both leaders also agreeing to make “every effort to calm the situation.”

Nonetheless, Abdullah ordered two of his ministers – the Minister of Water and the Minister of Energy – and some 40 other Jordanian officials not to attend the 20th anniversary ceremony which is scheduled to be held in the Jordan Valley between the two countries.

The move forced the ceremony to be officially postponed, and may very well result in it being cancelled altogether, Israel’s Channel 10 News reported Friday night.

Another ceremony inaugurating a joint technological endeavor was canceled as well. Silvan Shalom, Israel’s Minister for Regional Development, was set to attend.


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