MB sent me the text now:
Agreement between His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, the Custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, and His Excellency Dr Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, Head of Palestinian Liberation Organisation, and President of the Palestinian National Authority:-
Glory to Him Who carried His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to Al Masjid Al Aqsa, the environs of which We have blessed, that We might show him of our signs! Indeed He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (The Holy Koran, Al Isra’, 17:1)
Indeed, Allah loves those who fight in His cause in a row as though they are a [single] structure joined firmly. (The Holy Koran, Al Saff, 61:4)
This agreement has been made by and between: His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem,
His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas, in his capacity as President of the State of Palestine, and Head of The Palestine Liberation Organisation, the representative of the Palestinian people, and President of the Palestinian National Authority,
A. Recalling the indissoluble bond between all members of the Arab and Muslim Umma;
B. Recalling the special status of Jerusalem as a holy and sacred city in Islam, and recalling present and eternal association of the holy sites with Muslims of all lands and all ages; and bearing in mind the significance of Jerusalem to those of other faiths;
C. Recalling the unique religious importance, to all Muslims, of Al Masjid Al Aqsa with its 144 dunums, which include the Qibli Mosque of Al Aqsa, the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock and all its mosques, buildings, walls, courtyards, attached areas over and beneath the ground and the Waqf properties tied-up to Al Masjid Al Aqsa, to its environs or to its pilgrims (hereinafter referred to as “Al Haram Al Sharif”);
D. Recalling the role of King Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali in protecting, and taking care of the holy sites in Jerusalem and in the restoration of the holy sites since 1924; recalling the uninterrupted continuity of this role by His Majesty King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who is a descendant of Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali; recalling that the Bay’ah (oath of allegiance) according to which Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali held the custodianship of the Jerusalem holy sites, which custodianship was affirmed to Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali by the people of Jerusalem and Palestine on March 11, 1924; and recalling that the Custodianship of the holy sites of Jerusalem has devolved to His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein; including that which encompasses the “Rum” (Greek) Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem that is governed by the Jordanian Law No. 27 of the year 1958;
E. The continuity of Hashemite King of Jordan’s custodianship of the holy sites since 1924 makes His Majesty more able to maintain the holy sites and to preserve Al Masjid Al Aqsa (Al Haram Al Sharif);
F. Recognising that the Palestine Liberation Organisation is the sole legitimate and legal representative of the Palestinian people and;
G. Recognising that the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people is expressed in realising the State of Palestine whose territory encompasses the land within which Al Masjid Al Aqsa (Al Haram Al Sharif) is situated;
H. Recalling the terms of the official statement by His Majesty King Hussein Bin Talal, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, concerning Jordan’s qualified disengagement from the West Bank, made on 31 July, 1988; the statement excluded the Jerusalem holy sites;
I. Recalling the terms of the official statement by the Jordanian Government on its role in Jerusalem, made on 28 July, 1994, reaffirming Jordan’s invariable position and historic, exclusive role over the holy sites;
Intending to establish legal obligations and to affirm their recognition of the legal status of the parties set out in this agreement, the parties to this agreement have agreed and declare as follows:
The “Preamble” to this agreement shall be an integral part of this agreement and is to be read and construed with it as a whole.
2.1. His Majesty King Abdullah II, as the custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites, exerts all possible efforts to preserve the Jerusalem holy sites, especially Al Haram Al Sharif, which is defined in item (c) in the Preamble to this agreement, and to represent their interests so as to:
A. assert the respect for the Jerusalem holy sites;
B. affirm that all Muslims, now and forever, may travel to and from the Islamic holy sites and worship there, in conformance with freedom of worship;
C. to administer the Islamic holy sites and to maintain them so as to (i) respect and preserve their religious status and significance; (ii) reaffirm the proper identity and sacred character of the holy sites; and (iii) respect and preserve their historical, cultural and artistic significance and their physical fabric;
D. to represent the interests of the holy sites in relevant international forums and competent international organisations through feasible legal means;
E. to oversee and manage the institution of Waqf in Jerusalem and its properties in accordance with the laws of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
2.2. The King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, will continue to endeavour to procure that the duties referred to in Article 2.1. here be fulfilled.
2.3. The Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Palestinian National Authority recognise the role of the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan set out in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article 2 and undertake to respect it.
3.1. The Government of the State of Palestine, as the expression of the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people, shall have the right to exercise sovereignty over all parts of its territory, including Jerusalem.
3.2. The King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian President will consult and coordinate with each other concerning the holy sites when necessary.
Done at the Royal Palace in Amman on Sunday, March 31, 2013 on Jumada I 19, 1434 Hijri.
But do Abdullah and Abbas have any legal or political foundation upon which to build their joint agreement?
To start, Jordan's "custodianship" over the Islamic sites in Jerusalem -- including Al-Aqsa mosque -- were granted by Israel. The peace treaty signed between Israel and Jordan in 1994 gave Jordan the privilege of overseeing and managing Al-Aqsa mosque and other Islamic sites in Jerusalem. Therefore, Abdullah has no right or entitlement to "exert any efforts to persevere Jerusalem from Judaization" -- as his agreement with Abbas claims.
Further, Abdullah seems to forget that the Hashemite rule over Jordan came into existence based on the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement, signed in 1919 between Chaim Weizmann and the Hashemite Prince Faisal. Article IV of the agreement states the following:
All necessary measures shall be taken to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlement and intensive cultivation of the soil.Therefore, "Judaization" of the British Mandate for Palestine was the very thing the Hashemites were committed to support, in exchange for establishing an Arab state under Hashemite rule.
Were it not for that agreement, Abdullah's grandfather would never have become King, nor would King Abdullah II. The terms of the agreement were clear: Jews were to settle in the British Mandate for Palestine with no exclusion of Jerusalem.
The only entitlement involving Jerusalem that the agreement offered to the Hashemites was that Muslims were to oversee the Islamic holy sites of Jerusalem.
Decades later, Jews are still honoring this commitment and allowing the Hashemites to oversee Islamic sites in Jerusalem. Nonetheless, the Hashemites have not honored their part of the deal, which is: recognizing the Jewish right to the land.
Further, in the Abbas-Abdullah joint declaration, Abdullah gained the title of "The Custodian of the Al-Aqsa Mosque," which sounds remarkably similar to that of the King of Saudi Arabia: "The Custodian of the Two Shrines" -- the Islamic holy sites in Mecca and Medina. The title originally belonged to the Hashemites who used to rule these two cities before the Saudi Kingdom took over the cities from the locally-hated Hashemites, and expelled the Hashemites to exile in Jordan. King Abdullah might well be trying to polish his image and gain public support by acquiring a title that connects his name to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
How legitimate, however, is it for King Abdullah to seek recognition as "The Custodian of the Al-Aqsa Mosque" from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas? Does Abbas have the authority to grant it to him?