Jordan halts plan to install cameras at al-Aqsa
Jordan has cancelled its plan to install security cameras at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds (Jerusalem) over Palestinian fears of Israeli spying.
“Because we respect the point of view of the Palestinians… we believe the project is no longer consensual, but a potential source of conflict, and have decided to end it,” Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said on Monday.
The decision was made after Palestinian officials called on Amman to halt the project, warning it could be used by Israel to spy on Palestinians.
The leader of the Palestinian Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah, had urged Jordan to rethink the measure, citing fears that it would become “the eyes of Israel.”
The deputy head of the group, Kamal Khatib, also said, “We reject this completely, not just because of the security implications,” but because Israel “can observe everything that moves and can arrest anyone. It is using the cameras to enforce its own sovereignty.”
Jordan announced on March 20 that it would install 55 security cameras around al-Aqsa Mosque compound, called the Temple Mount by Israelis, to observe Tel Aviv’s violations at the site, which administered by Waqf, a Jordanian trust.
“We have been surprised by the reactions of some who have made comments expressing their doubts about the aims of the project,” Ensour said.
He added that installing surveillance cameras “at the compound, not inside the mosques,” aimed to “document repeated Israeli aggressions at the holy places.”
Israeli plans to change the status quo of the al-Aqsa Mosque, a highly revered place for the Muslims across the world, have sparked a fresh wave of uprising began early in October 2015.
About 210 Palestinians have been killed either in direct confrontation with the Israelis or during clashes.
The Palestinians across the West Bank say the uprising is a sign of their frustration with decades of Israeli occupation. The violence has also claimed the lives of 30 troops, settlers or foreign visitors on the Israeli side