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Jordan's coup d'etat nearly rivals the previous attempt on Dec. 30, 2017.

Jordan Denies King's Brothers Ousted From Army Over Ties With Saudi Arabia | Haaretz |

There have been behind-the-scenes tensions between Jordan and Saudi Arabia over Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies and his intention to revoke Jordan's custodianship over Islamic sites in Jerusalem. Always concerned with palace intrigue, the Jordanian king's move may also be a message to the Saudis.

Along with the two brothers, a cousin, Prince Talal bin Muhammad, was also dismissed from the army.

In November, Saudi security forces rounded up some 200 princes, ministers and business leaders and converted the Ritz-Carlton into a luxurious prison in what Riyadh said was a crackdown on corruption.

The move was also widely seen by analysts as helping  the crown prince consolidate his grip on power, after he ousted his cousin as heir to the throne in the summer.

Shortly after, Lebanon was plunged into crisis when Saad al-Hariri resigned as prime minister while he was in Saudi Arabia, saying he feared assassination and criticizing the Saudis' regional arch-rival Iran along with its Lebanese ally Hezbollah. He stayed abroad for two weeks before returning, and finally withdrew his resignation.

Saudi Arabia has also led neighboring Gulf Arab countries this year in cutting off trade and diplomatic ties with their neighbor Qatar, which Riyadh says supports terrorism. Qatar is an important American ally and home to a big U.S. air base.

by Oui on Sat Apr 10th, 2021 at 10:42:15 AM EST
Israeli politician suggests Saudi Arabia take responsibility of Jerusalem holy sites | Middle East Eye - Jan. 2018 |

Isaac Herzog's suggestion might be perceived as an attack on Jordan, which has been the custodian of Al-Aqsa for decades

An Israeli opposition leader called on Tuesday for Saudi Arabia to become "responsible" for the holy sites in Jerusalem, as it has experience in managing holy sites in the cities of Mecca and Medina.

Knesset member and former leader of the Israeli Labor Party Isaac Herzog suggested in an interview with the Saudi-funded Elaph news website that "Saudi Arabia could play a big role in the issue [of Jerusalem]".

"When we reach the stage [during negotiations] of talking about Jerusalem and the holy sites, such as Al-Aqsa, I think there must be a Saudi role and responsibility for the holy sites." 

"Saudi Arabia has experience in managing sacred spaces in Mecca and Medina," he said, referring to the role of Saudi King Salman as the custodian of the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina.

"I think we should offer Saudi Arabia a central role in this matter."

He also suggested Saudi Arabia take a more influential role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and went on to praise Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

by Oui on Sat Apr 10th, 2021 at 10:43:55 AM EST
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Translation: Jordanian parliament members wear a badge showing King Abdullah, bearing the words 'custodian of the first Qibla and the third holy mosque'.

Challenging Jordan

Herzog's suggestion might be perceived as an attack on Jordan, especially because Trump's move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital was perceived particularly negatively by the Jordanian king and people.

The country has been the custodian of Al-Aqsa for decades - a role recognised by two peace treaties, notably the Wadi Araba treaty signed between Jordanian King Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin of Israel in 1994. Consequently, King Abdullah is considered the custodian of the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

by Oui on Sat Apr 10th, 2021 at 10:46:00 AM EST
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by Oui on Wed Apr 21st, 2021 at 05:32:25 PM EST
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by Oui on Sat Apr 10th, 2021 at 09:33:13 PM EST
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