Jordan Maintains Sole Responsibility for Temple Mount Cameras

Jordan's Islamic Affairs minister states that Israel will have no role in implementing the plan, and that the technical installation will take time.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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The Dome of the Rock is seen from the entrance to the Temple Mount compound, October 26, 2015.
The Dome of the Rock is seen from the entrance to the Temple Mount compound, October 26, 2015.Credit: Reuters
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Jordan's Islamic Affair Minister Hayel Abd Alhafeez Dawood said recently that the authority for installing cameras on the Temple Mount lies solely with the Islamic trust which serves as the site's custodian, and that Israeli authorities have no role in its implementation.

In an interview with the Al-Dustour newspaper, the minister said that his office is in charge of setting up cameras on the holy site as part of an agreement reached between Israel and the Jordanian under the auspices of diplomatic efforts led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. He said it was a technical issue that cannot be completed within a day. According to him, the cameras will film the site 24 hours a day and the images will be broadcast live across the world, "like the broadcast the Saudis do" in Mecca and Medina.

A senior Palestinian official told Haaretz on Tuesday that Jordan is fuming at Netanyahu and his government for what they feel is pressure on King Abdullah to calm tensions surrounding the Temple Mount.

According to the source, the Jordanians are not interested in leading far-reaching diplomatic initiatives. If the Israeli government will continue to ignore Palestinian and Muslim sensitivity to the Temple Mount, the Jordanians will have no choice but to work to deescalate the situation, both internally and externally, the source said.

After meeting with the Israeli prime minister last week, Kerry announced that Netanyahu had agreed to placing cameras on the Temple Mount. Kerry stressed that the two leaders, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had all promised to cooperate in restoring calm as quickly as possible. According to the Waqf, Israeli Police had dismantled the cameras that had been installed on the site Monday morning. The Prime Minister's Office responded that the placement of the cameras must be "coordinated by professionals."

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