Jordan: No cameras inside mosques at Jerusalem holy site

The interiors of two mosques at a sensitive Jerusalem holy site will be exempt from monitoring by security cameras, Jordan’s king said in an apparent attempt to allay Palestinian concerns about his plan to install the cameras at the sprawling hilltop compound.


The 37-acre (15 -hectare) site has been at the heart of the current round of Israeli-Palestinian violence.


Jordan, the custodian of the site, last month proposed camera monitoring in efforts to defuse tensions. Israel welcomed the plan but the idea was met by Palestinian criticism.


Although Israel and Jordan initially said cameras would be installed within days, the plan now appears delayed, with Jordan’s King Abdullah II saying they wouldn’t be in place for some six weeks.


“To be very clear, there will be no cameras inside the mosque,” Abdullah said in remarks broadcast on Jordan’s state TV Wednesday evening.


The fate of the walled compound in Jerusalem — known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary — is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is the holiest site in Judaism and was home to biblical Jewish Temples. Muslims believe it is the spot where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. It is the third-holiest site in Islam and houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and gold-topped Dome of the Rock.


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