Jordan's King Abdullah due in Ramallah to bolster Palestinian leader Abbas

Jordan's King Abdullah II visited the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday and met with Palestinian President Abbas to reaffirm his stand.

An employee of the Islamic Endowment, or Waqf - in charge of running Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Rami al-Khatib confirmed that at least 25,000 Palestinians had performed prayers at Al-Aqsa on Friday.

Palestinians have often feared that Israel will implement policies challenging the status quo at the Jordanian-controlled holy site, which prohibits non-Muslim worship.

Abdullah flew into Ramallah by helicopter, which required coordination with Israeli authorities, but did not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Governor of Jerusalem Adnan Al-Husseini told Xinhua Monday that this visit is highly significant to the Palestinians, and means that the Palestine and Jordan are closing ranks in order to accommodate the situation in East Jerusalem.

The crisis erupted when Israel installed metal detectors at the shrine, after gunmen killed two Israeli policemen there.

Jordan has been the custodian of Jerusalem's Muslim holy sites since the 1920s.

A former Israeli ambassador to Jordan said that "Israel is now paying the price of the childish and provocative behavior that Netanyahu did when he received the security officer at the embassy with laughter and joke, even though he killed Jordanian citizens in cold blood".

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The visit to Ramallah by the Jordanian leader also follows the recent shooting of two Jordanian nationals by an Israeli embassy guard after being attacked.

During the recent escalation of tensions over al-Aqsa Mosque, an Israeli guard shot dead two Jordanians at the Israeli embassy compound in Amman after one of the men reportedly attacked the guard with a screwdriver. A few hours later, the metal detectors were dismantled. Abdullah recently announced the allocation of $1 million to support the Waqf، the religious trust that manages the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem، and a special grant for its employees.

However, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have continued to be barred from visiting the holy site if unable to obtain an Israeli regime permits to enter al-Aqsa.

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who last week criticized the USA for allowing Israeli settlement construction to continue unabated by offering only silence on the issue, also said the Palestinians are still "committed" to a USA initiative.

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Tuesday will have another lovely day with partly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the lower 90s. High temperatures will range from the low to mid-80s during that period, the weather says.

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