A Palestinian youth is silhouetted as he holds a toy gun and a Koran during a protest after Friday prayers on Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jordan made it clear to the Palestinian Authority on Thursday that it was determined to go ahead with its plan to install security cameras at the Temple Mount despite differences between the two sides.
The Jordanian message was relayed to the Palestinians by Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, who flew to Ramallah for a brief visit, during which he met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas and several officials about the cameras.
Judeh’s visit came days after the Jordanian government announced that the cameras would be installed “in the coming days.” The visit also comes amid differences between Jordan and the Palestinians concerning the cameras.
Some Palestinians have expressed reservations about the installation of the cameras, claiming that they could be used by Israel to identify and arrest Palestinians who protest against visits by Jews to the Temple Mount.
In the past week, Palestinian activists in Jerusalem threatened to destroy the cameras under the pretext that they would serve Israel’s security interests only.
Judeh was dispatched to Ramallah in a bid to avoid a crisis between the Jordanians and the Palestinians once the cameras are installed.
During the meeting, Judeh said that his country was committed to preserving the “status quo” at the Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, the Islamic term used to refer to the Temple Mount compound.
Judeh told Abbas that the cameras were intended to “expose Israeli assaults and violations” on the Temple Mount. He reiterated Jordan’s role in “defending the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem,” according to a statement released by the Palestinians after the meeting.
Abbas reportedly told the Jordanian foreign minister that the PA shared Amman’s position regarding the security cameras and has no objections to the idea.
Judeh said after the meeting that the installation of the cameras was a Jordanian initiative. He said that the goal was to “expose all trespasses or assaults on holy sites.”
Judeh said that the cameras would not be installed inside any building, but on walls and in the compound vicinity.
“We want the entire world to see any violation that takes place on the ground,” he explained.