Jordan’s King Abdullah warns Israeli moves in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque are threat to peace

AMMAN, April 18 (Reuters) – Jordan’s King Abdullah said on Monday that Israel’s “unilateral” moves against Muslim worshippers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque seriously undermined the prospects for peace in the region, state media said.

The monarch, who was speaking with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, blamed Israel for “provocative acts” in the mosque compound that violated “the legal and historic status quo” of the Muslim holy shrines.

On Friday, at least 152 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli riot police inside the mosque compound, the latest outbreak in an upsurge of violence that has raised fears of a slide back to wider conflict.

King Abdullah’s Hashemite monarchy has been custodian of the sites since 1924, paying for their upkeep and deriving part of its legitimacy from the role.

While the kingdom has a peace deal with Israel and maintains strong security ties, many Jordanians resent Israel and identify with the Palestinian aspirations for statehood.

Over 87 deputies in the country’s 130-member parliament called on the government on Monday to scrap the country’s unpopular peace deal.

Sporadic protests across the country have sprung up in the last few days in solidarity with the Palestinians.

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