Jordan’s King Calls Abbas to Urge Calm After Palestinian Leader Approved Protests

Jordan’s King Abdullah II
AP/Mohammad Hannon

The Times of Israel reports: Jordan’s King Abdullah II urged Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to work to calm spiraling tensions Wednesday, hours after Palestinian factions, backed by Abbas, called for violent demonstrations Friday over the Temple Mount.

In a phone call, the two leaders “stressed the importance of continuing coordination to bring the situation back to what it was before the outbreak of the crisis and ensure that the historical and legal status in the Holy Mosque is respected,” according to a statement carried by the Jordan’s Petra news agency. The official Palestinian Wafa news agency said the two “agreed to unify efforts and maintain consultations.”

Earlier Wednesday, Abbas approved plans by the leaders of the Fatah Tanzim militia to organize mass demonstrations on Friday and in the days after. Meetings on Wednesday took place between representatives of various Palestinian factions at the office of Fatah deputy chairman Mahmoud al-Aloul. Jabal al-Mheissen, responsible for the Tanzim on the Fatah central committee, and former Palestinian intelligence chief Tawfik Tirawi were at the meetings, along with the heads of Fatah’s regional branches in the West Bank. Abbas, who was not present, approved the holding of the meetings, their content, and the decisions that were taken.

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