Jordan’s King Abdullah in rare visit to Palestine

Visit comes two weeks since a surge violence in Jerusalem after Israel installed metal detectors at al-Aqsa Mosque.

The two leaders were expected to cover the recent developments in the region [Getty Images]

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has begun a rare visit to the occupied West Bank to meet Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, amid shared tensions with Israel over al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the Jerusalem holy site.

In his first visit to Abbas’s headquarters in Ramallah in five years, Abdullah was welcomed on Monday off his helicopter by the Palestinian leader before the two national anthems were played.

Jordan’s King Abdullah heads to occupied West Bank amid tensions

The two leaders were expected to cover the recent developments in the region.

The visit comes two weeks since a surge in violence in Jerusalem after Israel installed metal detectors at Muslim entrances to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The rare visit is seen as a closing of ranks on the crisis over the fate of the contested shrine at the centre of recent Israeli-Jordanian and Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

The shrine is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

Measures triggered protests

The crisis erupted when Israel installed metal detectors at the shrine, after gunmen killed two Israeli policemen there.

The gunmen were Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The restrictive measures triggered Muslim protests, and Israel eventually removed the devices.

Abdullah’s role as Muslim custodian of the shrine is a key component of his legitimacy.

Abbas suspended security ties with Israel over the crisis.

Israel criticised for crackdown on journalists covering al-Aqsa tensions

Al Jazeera’s Scott Heidler, reporting from West Jerusalem said: “This meeting is about better coordination. This is about discussing the very tense last couple of weeks [in Jerusalem]. And it is a message to the world showing solidarity.”

In a separate incident last month, an Israeli security guard killed a Jordanian teenager who he accused of attacking him.

In the same moment, he also killed a bystander in Israel’s Amman mission compound.

King Abdullah harshly criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for warmly welcoming the security guard back to Israel.

Israeli police say an investigation into the deaths is being conducted.

“The Israeli prime minister has to adhere to his responsibilities and take the legal measures that guarantee the killer’s trial instead of dealing with this crime in a political, showyámanner aimed at making personal political gains,” Abdullah said last month.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Israel moves to strip Alaa Zayud of citizenship

Israel takes unprecedented step of revoking Israeli citizenship from 22-year-old Palestinian, Alaa Zayud.

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The Haifa district court ruled to strip imprisoned Alaa Zayud, a young Palestinian citizen of Israel, of his citizenship [File: AP]

An Israeli court has decided to strip a Palestinian citizen of Israel of his citizenship, sources said Monday, in what rights group said was the first ruling of its kind.

The Haifa district court ruled to strip Alaa Zayud of his citizenship Sunday by applying a 2008 law that allows the interior ministry to deprive nationality from those involved in so-called “terrorist activities”, the sources said.

Adalah, an Arab rights group based in Israel, said it was the first court decision of its kind.

Zayud, a 22-year-old from Umm al-Fahm, was convicted on four counts of attempted murder after he allegedly drove a car into Israeli soldiers in October 2015.

He was sentenced to 25 years in jail in June 2016.

His mother is an Israeli citizen while his father is a Palestinian with permanent residence in Israel.

READ MORE: Israel to revoke Jerusalem residency of Palestinians

Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel in a joint statement said they would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

The court ruling “allows the revocation of Alaa Zayoud’s citizenship [and] sets a most dangerous precedent. It is no coincidence that the concerned individual is an Arab citizen,” the statement said.

“There has never been a request to revoke the citizenship of a Jewish citizen, even when Jewish citizens were involved in serious and grave crimes,” the statement added.

In 1996, the top court rejected a request to revoke the citizenship of Israeli Jewish citizen Yigal Amir, who assassinated then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

“Unfortunately, the court today did not follow the lead of the Supreme Court which refused to order the revocation of the citizenship of Yigal Amir, assassin of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin”, the rights groups said.

INTERACTIVE: Mapping the dead in latest Israeli-Palestinian violence

In July, Israel’s interior minister sought to revoke the citizenship of Palestinian activist Azmi Bishara, who is currently based in Qatar.

Palestinians who reside in Israel are the descendents of Palestinians who remained on their land when Israel was established in 1948.

They number around 1.4 million, some 18 percent of Israel’s population.

Since a wave of violence erupted in October 2015, more than 290 Palestinians and 47 Israelis have been killed, according to a toll by the AFP news agency.


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