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Jordan’s King acknowledges US role in defusing Jerusalem crisis

An undercover member of the Israeli forces detains a Palestinian protester during clashes near Beit El on Friday. (AFP)

JERUSALEM: Jordan’s King Abdallah II has told President Donald Trump that further coordination is important to prevent renewed tensions over a contested Jerusalem site.
Jordan’s Royal Court said the monarch also told Trump in a phone call that he valued the “key role” the US played in defusing the latest crisis.
Abdallah told Trump it is important to maintain the status quo at the site, a frequent flashpoint of Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
Jordan serves as custodian of the Muslim-administered shrine, the third holiest site of Islam and the most sacred one of Judaism.
Earlier this week, Israeli removed metal detectors it installed at the shrine after Arab gunmen killed two Israeli policemen there in mid-July.
Muslims staged mass protests over the detectors, viewing them as an encroachment on their rights.
Meanwhile, sources said Jordan has given Israel the results of its investigation into the shooting deaths of two Jordanians by an Israeli Embassy guard.
The state news agency Petra said the file was handed over after Jordan’s attorney general filed murder charges against the guard and called on Israel to put him on trial.
Jordanian authorities have said the guard opened fire after a 16-year-old attacked him with a screw driver. A Jordanian standing near the teen was also killed.
The guard, along with the rest of the embassy staff, returned to Israel under the protection of diplomatic immunity.
He received a warm welcome from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to the dismay of Jordan.
The Jordan’s king has called Netanyahu’s behavior “unacceptable and provocative.”
Meanwhile in Jerusalem, Israel barred men under 50 from Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa compound, leading thousands of Palestinians to hold mass prayers outside.
Worshippers entered the compound for prayers after Palestinians ended a boycott of the site the previous day. Despite fears of violent clashes around the compound, the area was largely calm following Friday’s midday prayers.
Dozens of young Palestinians shouted and protested near one entrance to the compound and minor scuffles broke out with police.
A Palestinian teen was killed in clashes in Gaza, sources said.
They said a 16-year-old was killed in Jerusalem. Several demonstrations were held in the coastal territory ruled by Hamas.
Clashes also erupt in parts of the occupied West Bank, including in the Nablus, Bethlehem and Hebron areas, the Israeli army said
Also on Friday, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss the Jerusalem crisis.
A ministry statement said the meeting — to be attended by OIC foreign ministers — will be held on Aug. 1 in Istanbul. Turkey holds the term presidency of the organization.
This week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on all Muslims to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque and accused Israel of trying to take over the contested holy site in Jerusalem under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

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