Jordanians on Tuesday criticized the Palestinian Authority for rejecting the idea of installing security cameras at the Temple Mount.
The Jordanians noted that the idea of installing the cameras was aimed at “protecting the Aksa Mosque by documenting what’s happening at the site.”
PA officials have over the past few days dismissed the idea, arguing that Israel would use the cameras to arrest Palestinians “under the pretext of incitement.”
PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said earlier this week that the Israeli-Jordanian agreement to install the cameras, which was reached under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry, was a “trap.”
The Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad
quoted Jordanian politicians as denouncing Malki’s remarks as “inappropriate and unfair.” They said that the PA leadership should have relayed its position on the cameras directly to the Jordanian government instead of making such “inflammatory” public remarks.
Adnan Abu Odeh, a veteran Jordanian politician and former advisor to both King Abdullah and King Hussein, said he did not believe that the cameras would serve Israel’s interests, as the PA claims. “The cameras will document everything, including those who want to assault Palestinians or Israelis,” he said. “The cameras will document anyone who caries out an assault or Jews who want to pray there.”
Abu Odeh dismissed Malki’s remarks as “provocative, tasteless and inappropriate.” He said that it was in the interest of the Palestinians to have cameras at the Temple Mount.
Former Jordanian parliament member Bassam Haddadin said he did not know whether the PA leadership shared Malki’s opposition to the installation of the cameras. Noting that it was Jordan that had requested the installation of the cameras, Haddadin demanded that the PA leadership clarify its position on this issue.
Jordanian columnist Musa al-Ma’ayta also criticized Malki’s remarks, saying it was “inappropriate” for a PA minister to make such allegations against Jordan “after all what we did for the sake of the Aksa Mosque.”
Jordanian journalist Awwad al-Khalayla said that Malki’s opposition to the cameras sends a message to the international community that the Palestinians have something to hide. “Malki should have welcomed the decision to install the cameras because they would document Israeli violations against Muslim worshippers,” he said.
Al-Khalayla condemned Malki’s stance as “clumsy,” saying they reflected “clear and deliberate ignorance” on his part.
Meanwhile, Jordanian Minister of Wafk Affairs, Hayel al-Daoud, defended the decision to install cameras at the Temple Mount. He said that the cameras were aimed at protecting the site. He also said that Jordan alone was responsible for installing the cameras and Israel has no right to intervene in the decision.
The Jordanian controlled Wakf Department in Jerusalem held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the latest tensions at the Temple Mount. At the end of the meeting, the department issued a statement in which it emphasized that the Aksa Mosque and its entire compound, including the “Al-Buraq Wall” (Western Wall), belong only to Muslims. It also rejected Israeli ‘attempts” to apply Israeli sovereignty and laws to the holy site.