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King to Jerusalemite figures: We will always be with you and you will overcome all the challenges before you

By JT - Apr 03,2023 - Last updated at Apr 03,2023

His Majesty King Abdullah, in the presence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, meets with Muslim and Christian Jerusalemite figures at Al Husseiniya Palace on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

  • His Majesty stresses it is the duty of every Muslim to deter Israeli escalations against Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem 
  • King calls on international community to take stand against exclusionary, racist statements made recently by some Israeli officials
  • King reaffirms commitment to Hashemite Custodianship
  • His Majesty stresses need to stop displacement of Christians, as well as repeated attacks on churches, religious figures and Christian property in Jerusalem

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday stressed support for the Palestinian people and Jerusalemites, saying, “we will always be with you and you will overcome all the challenges before you”.

At a meeting held at Al Husseiniya Palace and attended by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and a number of Muslim and Christian Jerusalemite figures, King Abdullah stressed that it is the duty of every Muslim to deter Israeli escalations against Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, according to a Royal Court statement.

His Majesty called on the international community to take a stand against the exclusionary and racist statements made recently by some Israeli officials.

The King reaffirmed commitment to the Hashemite Custodianship, as well as to the Pact of Islamic Caliph Omar Bin Al Khattab, which has preserved peace, harmony, and Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem for over 1400 years.

His Majesty conveyed Ramadan wishes to the Palestinian people, expressing support for the steadfastness of Jerusalemites and their efforts to safeguard Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

The King underscored that endeavours to improve the humanitarian and economic conditions of the Palestinians do not in any way relinquish their right to their independent state.

His Majesty also stressed the need to stop the displacement of Christians, as well as the repeated attacks on churches, religious figures and Christian property in Jerusalem.

At the meeting, attended by Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh, President Abbas thanked His Majesty for inviting Muslim and Christian leaders from Jerusalem to Amman, noting that this gesture is part of ongoing coordination with Jordan.

He added that the meeting reaffirms the ties of brotherhood between the two peoples, while supporting the steadfastness of the Palestinians in the face of the Israeli occupation and attempts to change the holy city’s identity.

President Abbas commended His Majesty’s role, as Hashemite Custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, in supporting Palestinian efforts to defend the rights of the Palestinian people to freedom and independence.

He stressed that the Palestinians will continue their resistance of the occupation, in pursuit of their legitimate rights.

Jerusalem Awqaf Council President Abdul Azim Salhab reiterated commitment to the Hashemite Custodianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, foremost of which is Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s first Qibla.

Salhab said Jerusalemites stand behind His Majesty’s leadership to counter the aggression by the Israeli occupation that aims to distort and uproot the Jerusalemite legacy and the Arab-Islamic identity, and change the religious, historical, and legal status quo of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif.

Also speaking at the meeting, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III expressed best wishes to the King on the holy seasons of Ramadan and Easter, noting that “this is a time of the renewal of our faith and hope in Almighty God”.

He warned of “unprecedented attacks on the Christian presence by radical Israeli groups”, but stressed that “along with the heads of the churches, we continue to be firm in our resolve against all forms of violence”.

Patriarch Theophilos III commended His Majesty’s commitment to the well-being of the Christian presence in the Holy Land, saying “you have been ceaselessly diligent in your Custodianship of the Muslim and Christian Holy Sites” in Jerusalem.

“This Custodianship, drawing on fourteen centuries of the Covenant of Omar ibn Al Khattab, has grown in significance and importance in the present climate,” he continued, expressing gratitude for His Majesty’s efforts.

Jerusalem Awqaf Department Director Mohammad Azzam Al Khatib said the King’s efforts to safeguard Al Aqsa Mosque continue despite all attempts to change the status quo and alter its Islamic character.

He noted the recent restoration work that has taken place at the mosque, stressing commitment to the Awqaf Department’s mission to safeguard holy sites in Jerusalem.

General Vicar and Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine William Shomali, speaking on behalf of Apostolic Administrator of Jerusalem’s Latin Patriarchate Archbishop Pizzaballa, said the King’s invitation of Muslim and Christian leaders to a Ramadan iftar symbolises the strong ties that connect the Hashemites to the holy city.

He warned that Jerusalem still faces violence and instability under occupation, as well as attempts to undermine the Arab Palestinian narrative.

The patriarchal vicar cited His Majesty’s speech at the UN General Assembly last year, in which he stressed that Arab Christians are an integral part of the region and have historical rights in Jerusalem.

For his part, Jerusalem Grand Mufti and Al Aqsa Mosque Imam Sheikh Mohammad Hussein stressed the importance of the Hashemite Custodianship amid current difficulties.

He noted that the Palestinians and the Jordanians will always be the guardians of holy sites in Jerusalem.

A number of senior officials and the Palestinian president’s accompanying delegation attended the meeting. 

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