Jordan's king visits West Bank to support Palestinians

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RAMALLAH, West Bank — Jordan’s King Abdullah II paid a rare visit to the West Bank today in a show of support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ successful bid for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state.

The Jordanians spoke out sharply against Israel’s latest plans to build thousands of new settler homes in response to the Palestinian move, including initial plans to revive a contentious project east of Jerusalem.

The project, known as E1, would separate the West Bank from east Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ hoped-for capital, and drive a big wedge between the northern and southern flanks of the West Bank.

Abdullah’s arrival gave a high-profile boost of support to the U.N. bid, which has come under fierce Israeli criticism. Jordan is one of just two Arab countries with a peace agreement with Israel, so the king’s public support was significant.

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