Israel, Jordan Agree Deal for Al-Aqsa Mosque

Jordan and Israel have agreed to install 24-hour surveillance in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in a bid to reduce recent tensions over Islam’s third holiest site, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced in Jordanian capital Amman on Saturday.

 ” I am also very pleased to announce today that [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu has agreed to what I think is an excellent suggestion by [Jordanian] King Abdullah to provide 24-hour video coverage of all sites on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif”, Kerry said during a press conference with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh.

“This will provide comprehensive visibility and transparency, and that could really be a game changer in discouraging anybody from disturbing the sanctity of this holy site. I expect Jordanian and Israeli technical teams will meet soon to discuss the implementation of this idea alongside other measures to maintain and enhance public order and calm,” Kerry said.

“Israel will continue to enforce its longstanding policy on religious worship, religious worship at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, including the fundamental fact that it is Muslims who pray on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and non-Muslims who visit,” he said.

Israel has no intention… of dividing the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and it rejects completely any attempt to suggest otherwise.

Kerry added that the details of the agreement would later be announced by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

On Saturday, John Kerry also met Jordanian King Abdullah and Palestine leader Mahmoud Abbas in Amman.

Since Oct. 1, clashes have repeatedly broken out in Israeli-occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the blockaded Gaza strip between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli security forces.

Violence at least partially prompted by repeated incursions by large groups of Jewish settlers — usually backed by Israeli security forces — into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The latest violence was preceded by a three-week-long wave of alleged Palestinian knifeand vehicular attacks, which have reportedly left 10 Israelis dead and 120 injured, according to Israel’s Magen David Adom paramedic service.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the start of October stands at 53, including 11 children and one woman.

Over the same period, at least 1,900 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli gunfire, while thousands of others have suffered temporary asphyxia as a result of the excessive use of tear gas by the Israeli security forces, the ministry said.

(Middle East Monitor)

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