Introduction Before examining the current affairs in Jerusalem, itis needed to study Jordan’s connection to Jerusalem (Al-Quds) historically.Furthermore, Jordan’s legal role regarding Jerusalem should also be put underthe microscope. The first reference is the Jordanian (Hashemite)custodianship of Jerusalem holy sites. This refers to Jordan’s role in tendingMuslim and Christian holy sites in Al-Quds which traces back to 1924 whenPalestinians asked for assistance from Al-Sharif Hussain Bin Ali. Since then,the Hashemite custodianship became a legacy administrated by Jordanian Kings.
During the twentieth century, the Hashemite kings have renovated Al-Aqsa mosqueand the Dome of the Rock. In 1994, the Israel–Jordan peace treaty was signed.Israel commits in article 9 of the treaty to “respect the present specialrole of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines inJerusalem”. An agreement in 2003 was also signed between the Palestinianauthority, represented by president Abbas, and Jordan that admitted theJordanian role. Jerusalem is extremely special for the Hashemites. It is the home to some of the most importantIslamic holy sites, such as Al Haram Al Shareef which includes two mosques anda tombs of several prophets. Jordanian Kings have stood against Zionist claims thatJerusalem belongs to them.
They also ordered for restoration work on the holysites in Jerusalem. The Islamic Higher Council, an Islamicnon-governmental institution, was formed in Jerusalem in 1922 to raise funds torestore the Dome of the Rock. After being informed of the threats to the mosque bythe Council, Sharif Hussain contributed around 50 thousand golden lire torestore Al Aqsa mosque. King Abdullah I has a meeting with Winston Churchill on21 March 1921.
The King insisted on leaving Palestine’s fate up to its ownpeople, refusing his request on the Belfour Declaration. During the British Mandate period, King Abdullah I’sposition in Palestine did not waver. He insisted on liberating Palestine fromthe Belfour Declaration.The Jordanian-Arab Army participated on Arabs waragainst Israel in 1948 to save Jerusalem and the rest of the Palestinian lands.
The war resulted in the defeat of Arabs and resulted in great damage to theholy sites in Jerusalem. King Abdullah I, immediately, called for restoringZachariya’s mihrab and the surrounding structures. In 1969, King Hussein bin Talal ordered the rebuildingof Al Aqsa mosque after a Jewish extremist barging, in august that year, in themosque and setting it on fire. The fire destroyed most of its facilities. Due to the tensions between Israel and Palestinians in2014, Jordan recalled its ambassador to Israel and the ambassador returned onlyafter Israeli Authorities agreed to let men of all ages to pray in Al-Aqsa.
Under the reignof King Abdullah II, the restoration process of the holy sites continued. Hereaffirmed the importance of safeguarding the holy sites, pledging to protectthem. Reaching to the current affairs, Donald Trump, UnitedStates’ current president, recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and decidedto move the American Embassy there.
The green light to start with such procedure, which noother previous American president decided to execute, dates back to the JerusalemEmbassy Act that was passed by the American Congress in 1995. According to some political analysts, Trump’s decisionwas not driven by diplomatic calculations but by a campaign promise. Heattempted to get pro-Israel American Jews to vote for him on 2016 elections bypromising to move the embassy and now he decided to fulfill that promise. After Trump’s announcement of the decision to relocatethe embassy, the royal palace in Amman issued a statement. Through thestatement, King Abdullah strongly warned against the move.
Assuring that toachieve peace and stability, Jerusalem is a key component.