AMMAN Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met Jordan’s King Abdullah II during a surprise visit to Amman.
According to a statement released by the Jordanian royal court on Monday, Netanyahu and Abdullah discussed the so-called between Israel and the Palestinians.
“The king and the prime minister discussed regional developments as well as advancing the peace process and bilateral relations,” said Netanyahu’s official spokesman.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s commitment to maintaining the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem (al-Quds),” he added.
The meeting comes ahead of visit by US President Donald Trump’s envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, the presidents special envoy to the Middle East peace process, who are expected to arrive in the region later in the week. Netanyahu’s last visit to Jordan was in 2014.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed dismay over the number of Palestinians killed and injured by Israeli live fire during protests.
“I am shocked by the number of deaths and injuries of Palestinians resulting from the use of live fire” since protests began on March 30, he said in a report viewed by AFP.
More than 130 Palestinians, including 14 children, have so far been killed by Israeli troops since the Great March of Return rallies commenced in the blockaded sliver on March 30. Some 13,300 Palestinians also sustained wounds, of them 300 are currently in a critical condition.
“The killing of children, as well as of clearly identified journalists and medical staffers by security forces during a demonstration are particularly unacceptable,” he added.
The Tel Aviv regime must “exercise maximum restraint” and protect civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law.
He further reiterated his call for an independent investigation of the shooting deaths in Gaza.
Earlier on Monday, Israeli soldiers shot dead a 24-year-old unarmed Palestinian protester near the border, and a teenage Palestinian, who had recently been wounded by the Israeli live fire, succumbed to his injuries a few hours later.
The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), when the Israeli regime forcibly drove more than 760,000 Palestinians – now estimated to number nearly five million with their descendants out of their homes. This years anniversary coincided with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, a highly provocative move that infuriated Palestinians and intensified the protesting rallies.
Since 1948, the Israeli regime has denied Palestinian refugees the right to return, despite United Nations resolutions and international law that upholds peoples right to return to their homelands.
Israel has launched several wars on the Palestinian coastal sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014. The military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were also wounded in the war.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
The Israeli regime denies about 1.8 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs with proper wages as well as adequate healthcare and education.
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