Jordan’s King Abdullah meeting US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Royal palace in Amman yesterday.


Israeli and Jordanian leaders have agreed on steps to reduce tensions at Al Aqsa mosque site in Jerusalem that has been at the centre of renewed violence in the Middle East, US Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday.
Kerry said Israel and Jordan, which oversees Muslim access to Haram al-Sharif, had agreed to steps to defuse tensions over the site.
Kerry said the sides had agreed to 24-hour video coverage of the site and other measure to enhance public order and calm.
“We are all deeply concerned about the recent violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and especially in Jerusalem,” Kerry said in Amman, calling for an end to violence and incitement to violence.
“Leaders must lead, and it is important to stop the back-and-forth of language that gives anybody an excuse to somehow be misinterpreted or misguided into believing that violence becomes a viable option. It is not a viable option. Diplomacy and negotiation are the viable road ahead.”
Kerry met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman and arrived in Saudi Arabia in the evening. The US top diplomat arrived from Europe, where he met Netanyahu in Berlin on Thursday.
Kerry said Israel would respect Jordan’s role at the site, enforce its existing policy on access to the site for Muslims and non-Muslims, reject any suggestion that the site be divided and welcome increased coordination with Jordan.
Israeli and Jordanian officials would meet to strengthen the security relationship at the site, Kerry said.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said the Israelis and Palestinians must address the dispute over the holy site that has sparked the tensions.
Earlier yesterday, an Israeli security guard shot dead a Palestinian man who had allegedly brandished a knife, according to media reports.
The latest stabbing and shooting incident took place at a checkpoint near Jenin, in the north of the West Bank, the Palestinian Maan news website reported.
More than three weeks of unrest between Israelis and Palestinians has left more than 65 people dead. These include 57 Palestinians, eight Israelis and an Eritrean asylum seeker who was mistaken for an attacker and beaten to death by a mob in Israel.

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