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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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