The agreement between Israel and Jordan to monitor the Temple Mount and prevent violence there by installing CCTV cameras has come up against opposition by the Waqf council, Palestinian officials, and terrorist organizations.
Israeli-Jordanian plans to install CCTV cameras on the Temple Mount as a measure to stop violence may be complicated by Palestinian opposition.
But PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki described the measure as a “trap,” accusing Netanyahu of “seeking to change the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque, which has been in effect since 1967.” The chairman of the Waqf council and Palestinian terrorist organizations are also against the cameras.
The countries decided to install the cameras as a result of the visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry last week. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement saying that the cameras would be installed “as soon as possible.” Netanyahu told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the images would be broadcast to Israel and to the Waqf, the Jordanian-run organization that administers Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
A Jordanian official went a step further, and told the AP that his country would want the camera footage to be streamed live on the internet.
Al-Maliki also criticized Israel and Jordan for reaching a decision to install cameras without Palestinian approval. “The Palestinians and their leadership must be a major part in any arrangements to ensure and defend the historic status of al-Aksa Mosque,” his office said in a statement. “Ignoring a Palestinian role will weaken the prospects of any agreement.”
Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian terrorist organizations oppose installing cameras. Hamas officials have publicly called for an expansion of the current wave of violence into a full-fledged intifada.
The plan is also opposed by Waqf council chairman Sheikh Abdel Azeem Salhab, who accused Israel of trying to Judaize the mosque. The Islamic Waqf released a statement following an emergency meeting Tuesday in which it asserted that the Temple Mount, including the Western Wall, belongs solely to the Muslims and that Israel has no authority over the site.
The Jordanian Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Hayel Dawood, defended the decision, noting that Jordan would be solely responsible for installing the cameras, which would have the benefit of protecting the site.
By: Sara Abramowicz, United with Israel
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