Defense Minister Benny Gantz met on Tuesday with Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman in an apparent joint effort to lower Israeli-Palestinian tensions as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches.
Gantz told the king of the steps that Israel intends to take to enable freedom of worship in Jerusalem and the West Bank and the government's initiatives to improve the quality of lives the the Palestinians, while still preserving Israeli's security interests.
Citing security concerns, Israel has imposed age limits on Muslim worshippers at Al-Aqsa during periods of tension and restricted Palestinian travel to Jerusalem from the West Bank.
Gantz emphasized the importance of maintaining regional peace and stability and the need to fight terrorism in all its forms, including against ISIS, which was the motivating force behind the recent attacks in Israel.”
The Defense Ministry said in a statement that the two men discussed "regional and security challenges."
Gantz wished the King and Jordanians the best for the holiday and thanked Abdullah “for his leadership and positive influence in the region, as well as for his willingness to deepen peaceful relations and to expand cooperation between the Kingdom and Israel in all areas," the ministry said in its statement.
The Jordanian King discussed the need to "honor the right of Muslim worshippers at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, and prevent provocations that would lead to escalation".
The office of Jordan's King Abdullah II said the meeting was in line with efforts lead by the king, in an attempt to create "a real horizon for establishing a justified comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution, while maintaining the historic and legal status quo in Jerusalem and the holy places which would ensure freedom of worship for Ramadan's prayers."
The meeting was coordinated with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. According to some reports, Gantz initially sought to hold a trilateral summit together with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but Bennett opposed the initiative.
President Issac Herzog will visit Amman on Wednesday for a meeting with the king, his office said on Tuesday.
Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev visited Jordan in secret last week and met with Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi ahead of Ramadan Month.