Tevet 15, 5774, 18/12/13
Jordan outraged at installation of security cameras following attacks, accuses Israel of violating Muslim religious freedom.
by Maayana Miskin
Jordan, the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, demanded on Tuesday that Israel remove surveillance cameras at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on the Temple Mount, the AFP news agency reports.
"Jordan rejects Israel's installation of surveillance cameras on December 8 to monitor waqf officials and worshippers, particularly women," Information Minister Mohammad Momani told state news agency Petra.
"Jordan does not accept that Israel has set up a police station inside the compound. It is a flagrant military violation of the freedom of worshippers as well as an interference in the affairs of the Jordanian Islamic waqf [Islamic endowment],” he argued.
"Jordan will not stop efforts to prevent Israel from imposing a new status quo in Jerusalem,” Momani said.
Police have had to deal with many recent security disturbances at the Temple Mount as Muslim worshipers attack Jewish visitors. The attacks follow incitement from Muslim leaders, including calls to physically prevent Jews from visiting the holy site.
Israel arrested a Hamas-linked terror cell that carried out attacks at the site in March, and in September, a wing of Fatah announced that it, too, plans to attack Israelis over Jewish visits to the Temple Mount.
The Temple Mount is the most holy place on earth according to Judaism. Muslims consider the site holy as well.
Currently, the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a Muslim prayer site. Jews are allowed to visit other parts of the Temple Mount during certain hours, but are not allowed to pray at the holy site.
Jordan previously expressed anger with Israel after a Jewish youth brought an Israeli flag onto the Temple Mount. A Jordanian minister accused the “Israeli occupation” of allowing “settlers” to fly Israel’s flag at the site.
Last week, Jordan’s parliament adopted a bill stating that violence against Israel is not a terrorist act.