"The public disagreement between the Jordanian and Palestinian leaderships over the understandings regarding the Aqsa Mosque announced by John Kerry have exposed a crisis in their relations," writes Hani al-Masri in the leading Palestinian daily al-Ayyam.
Unless its sharp edges are addressed quickly by holding meetings at various levels, relations between the two leaderships may be forced into a tight corner that will not be to their or their peoples’ interests.
Relations between the two leaderships improved greatly after the 1993 Oslo Accords. They entered a golden phase under President Mahmoud 'Abbas, especially after the agreement between them that extend Jordan’s sponsorship of Islamic Awqaf to Christian church properties as well, and their common stance vis-à-vis Israel’s intransigence that has foiled all initiatives to resume the [peace] talks.
This led to a deterioration in Jordanian/Israeli relations, so much so that the Jordanian monarch received numerous phone calls from Netanyahu in September. And this also led Netanyahu to inform the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that relations with Jordan could deteriorate even further unless the situation in the Aqsa were calmed down.
The strength of Jordanian/Palestinian relations also manifested itself in the two leadership's shared conviction that there was no possibility of any breakthrough or genuine progress in the negotiations, especially as long as Netanyahu remains in power in Israel.
In fact, Israel's prevarication over the Kerry understandings provides the best evidence in this regard. The understandings are ambiguous and capable of being interpreted in the manner that Israel wants. For preserving the current status quo without defining it precisely first – as called for by the agreements – is different from returning to the historical situation as it was before. In the current circumstances, and as endorsed by the agreement, Israel has become a partner in everything, including the installation of CCTV cameras. It has also gained the right to permit visits to the Aqsa by people [Jewish religious extremists] who harbor aggressive schemes. In the past, by contrast, the Jordanian Awqaf alone decided who has the right to enter to pray or visit.
The gravest and worst sin committed by the Palestinians since signing the Oslo Accords has emerged with all its gaps, including the Palestinians’ consent to postpone decisions on the basic issues – especially Jerusalem and its holy sites– to the final status negotiations. This has helped Israel to alter the city's main features, allowing it to claim that it is Israeli land, or disputed territory at least.
The acts of aggression and storming of the Aqsa Mosque have peaked over the last two years, after the Israeli government began to institute time limits on [Muslims’] entry to the site as a prelude to imposing a spatial division, then destroying the Mosque and building Solomon’s Temple in its place, when conditions permit. This is consistent with the publicly declared schemes that Israeli government ministers have spoken of and are trying to implement, as well as Knesset members, party leaders and Jewish clergymen.
All the above highlights the need to reach a common Jordanian /Palestinian position that prevents the current situation from being consolidated and that protects the Aqsa. After all, there is enough evidence to indicate that the fate of the new understandings will be no different from that of the  Jordanian/Israeli treaty and all previous understandings – as evident from the recent repeated storming of the Aqsa by Jews, even after the understandings were reached.
Jordan and Palestine are in the same boat. This calls for a united position based on defending the right of Jordan's Islamic Awqaf to control visits to the Aqsa on the grounds that this is an Islamic mosque, not disputed territory. This is especially urgent in light of the fact that Kerry used the expression 'Temple Mount' eight times in reference to the Noble Sanctuary at the press conference in which he announced the understandings.
The conflict over the Aqsa and the other Islamic and Christian holy sites is not in essence a conflict over the right to worship. It is a conflict over sovereignty. The Palestinians and the Jordanians should deny Netanyahu the opportunity to sow discord between them.
In this context, the 'intifada wave' that is centered in Jerusalem, gains extreme importance because it has highlighted the dangers that threaten the Aqsa. It has also contributed to bringing about a limited Israeli retreat, because it has made it clear that Jerusalem is occupied and that its people are not prepared to cohabit with the occupation. Their intifada and sacrifices offer conclusive evidence that the occupation will not remain gainful to Israel forever, and that the time is approaching when it becomes costly or unprofitable, as a result of which withdrawal and dismantlement of the occupation's settlements will become the Hebrew state’s sole way out.
To continue to cling to the illusion of the so-called 'peace process,' to wait for the success of initiatives to resume negotiations, and to refrain from joining the conflict imposed by Israel on the Palestinians have never, and will never preserve the status quo or prevent the situation from deteriorating. On the contrary, they will only help it to deteriorate further.
The solution lies in having Jordan, Palestine, and all the Arabs adopt a new political approach based on strengthening the Palestinians’ steadfastness and their human presence on the land of Palestine. It is based on confronting Israel's schemes to change the facts on the ground by expanding its colonial settlement activities that are growing at an accelerating pace.
Laying siege to such settler expansion calls for a strategy based on creating crises as embodied by various forms of resistance that preserve its popular character and that set aims and is organized by a single leadership that represents all shades of the political spectrum. This will contribute to launching a new peace process – if only at some subsequent time –that is radically different from that launched after the  Madrid Conference and that produced the Oslo Accords and that led us to where we are today.
"And this process should have a clear and binding terms of reference, such that the aim of the negotiations would be to implement international law and UN resolutions, within a short timeframe, not one that is forever open-ended," concludes Masri.