Monday, February 8, 2016

Disagreements delay security camera deployment on Temple Mount - Arutz Sheva Staff

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Jordanian government and Waqf still disagree with Israel regarding control over Temple Mount cameras.

For more than three months since the sides agreed to the action, disputes between Jordan and Israel regarding the installation of security cameras on the Temple Mount have delayed the security measure. The idea to place the cameras on the Mount was agreed upon in October by both countries as an attempt to deescalate the tensions that have taken place over the flashpoint site.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with U.S. secretary of State John Kerry back in October and told him that the Jordanians had suggested the move in an effort to ascertain that Israeli forces were not "desecrating" the space, which is called Haram al-Sharif by Muslims. Netanyahu was interested in doing so in order to maintain security for all visitors who go up to the Temple Mount and the security forces who often have to quell violent protests at the site that is holiest to Jews.   

Kerry announced the deal a few days later following talks he held in Amman. 

Israeli Police and the Israeli Security Agency have been holding talks with the Waqf religious trust and the Jordanian intelligence services regarding the details of the cameras. Due to the sensitivity of the site, the details quickly became the major issues.  

A senior Israeli official noted that after many disagreements, the talks became bogged down: “Early on, we realized that the story was more complicated than we thought when the idea was raised,” he said.

The official detailed the disagreements that the different parties are having regarding the issues. He listed three main points of dissent which are: Who will have access to the footage from the cameras? Will one side be able to edit or pause the transmission? 

And where will the cameras be physically positioned? 

Israel wants the cameras positioned throughout the complex including inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in order to show that these sites are being used to store weapons and rocks that are used against Israeli police. 

Senior diplomats have expressed concerns that a solution to the arguments will not be found before Passover. The fear is that when Jewish and Christian worshipers come from abroad and the number of visitors to the Temple Mount increases the attacks will intensify as well.

"If we reach that point and there will still not be agreements then all the tensions we saw around the Jewish holidays in September can start again," the official said.

Talks are continuing and negotiators on both sides are updating their national leaders.

Arutz Sheva Staff


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