Before examining the current affairs in Jerusalem, it
is needed to study Jordan’s connection to Jerusalem (Al-Quds) historically.
Furthermore, Jordan’s legal role regarding Jerusalem should also be put under
The first reference is the Jordanian (Hashemite)
custodianship of Jerusalem holy sites. This refers to Jordan’s role in tending
Muslim and Christian holy sites in Al-Quds which traces back to 1924 when
Palestinians 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 mosque
and 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 special
role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in
An agreement in 2003 was also signed between the Palestinian
authority, represented by president Abbas, and Jordan that admitted the
Jerusalem is extremely special for the Hashemites. It is the home to some of the most important
Islamic holy sites, such as Al Haram Al Shareef which includes two mosques and
a tombs of several prophets.
Jordanian Kings have stood against Zionist claims that
Jerusalem belongs to them. They also ordered for restoration work on the holy
sites in Jerusalem.
The Islamic Higher Council, an Islamic
non-governmental institution, was formed in Jerusalem in 1922 to raise funds to
restore the Dome of the Rock.
After being informed of the threats to the mosque by
the Council, Sharif Hussain contributed around 50 thousand golden lire to
restore Al Aqsa mosque.
King Abdullah I has a meeting with Winston Churchill on
21 March 1921. The King insisted on leaving Palestine’s fate up to its own
people, refusing his request on the Belfour Declaration.
During the British Mandate period, King Abdullah I’s
position in Palestine did not waver. He insisted on liberating Palestine from
the Belfour Declaration.
The Jordanian-Arab Army participated on Arabs war
against 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 the
holy sites in Jerusalem. King Abdullah I, immediately, called for restoring
Zachariya’s mihrab and the surrounding structures.
In 1969, King Hussein bin Talal ordered the rebuilding
of Al Aqsa mosque after a Jewish extremist barging, in august that year, in the
mosque and setting it on fire. The fire destroyed most of its facilities.
Due to the tensions between Israel and Palestinians in
2014, Jordan recalled its ambassador to Israel and the ambassador returned only
after Israeli Authorities agreed to let men of all ages to pray in Al-Aqsa.
Under the reign
of King Abdullah II, the restoration process of the holy sites continued. He
reaffirmed the importance of safeguarding the holy sites, pledging to protect
Reaching to the current affairs, Donald Trump, United
States’ current president, recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and decided
to move the American Embassy there.
The green light to start with such procedure, which no
other previous American president decided to execute, dates back to the Jerusalem
Embassy Act that was passed by the American Congress in 1995.
According to some political analysts, Trump’s decision
was not driven by diplomatic calculations but by a campaign promise. He
attempted to get pro-Israel American Jews to vote for him on 2016 elections by
promising to move the embassy and now he decided to fulfill that promise.
After Trump’s announcement of the decision to relocate
the embassy, the royal palace in Amman issued a statement. Through the
statement, King Abdullah strongly warned against the move. Assuring that to
achieve peace and stability, Jerusalem is a key component.