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Report: Saudi King Secretly Contacted Israel on Temple Mount Crisis

July 20th 2017

Jerusalem-Temple and Wall

On Tuesday, the London-based Arabic media outlet Elpah reported that the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud contacted Israel via the Americans in an effort to defuse the crisis following the terrorist murder of two Israelis on the Temple Mount. It was reportedly the Saudi king’s personal intervention via the White House that prompted Israel to reopen the Temple Mount to Muslim worshipers.

While Israel reopened the site just two days after the attack, the Palestinian Authority and the Jordanian Waqf, an Islamic Trust that Israel entrusted to oversee Temple Mount activities, incited raucous protests in response to necessary security measures such as metal detectors.

According to unnamed sources quoted in the Elpah report, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed the Saudis via the Trump Administration that the status quo remains on the Temple Mount. Israel’s neighbor Jordan was allegedly also involved in the communication process.

Saudi officials were reportedly invited by Israel’s Prime Minister to visit the al-Aksa Mosque in order to see for themselves that the status quo is maintained on the Temple Mount. Riyadh has so far not responded to the Israeli invitation.

Jerusalem and Riyadh do not have official diplomatic relations. However, reports indicate that Israel and Saudi Arabia have contemplated establishing trade relations. Such overtures could pave the way for normalization between the two countries.

Jerusalem and Riyadh both feel threatened by Iran, with former US President Barack Obama’s controversial nuclear deal with Tehran allegedly leading to increased clandestine cooperation between the Saudis and Israel.

During his historic visit to the Middle East, President Donald Trump’s Air Force One became the first known plane to fly directly from Riyadh to Israel


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