Jordan is sharply criticizing the Palestinian Authority’s rejection of an initiative to install security cameras on the Temple Mount, veteran Palestinian affairs reporter Khaled Abu Toameh wrote Tuesday in The Jerusalem Post. The proposal was first introduced by Jordan’s King Abdullah II and accepted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an effort to decrease tensions at the holy site.
PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said earlier this week that the Israeli-Jordanian agreement to install the cameras, which was reached under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry, was a “trap.”
The Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad quoted Jordanian politicians as denouncing Malki’s remarks as “inappropriate and unfair.” They said that the PA leadership should have relayed its position on the cameras directly to the Jordanian government instead of making such “inflammatory” public remarks.
Adnan Abu Odeh, a veteran Jordanian politician and former advisor to both King Abdullah and King Hussein, said he did not believe that the cameras would serve Israel’s interests, as the PA claims. “The cameras will document everything, including those who want to assault Palestinians or Israelis,” he said. “The cameras will document anyone who caries out an assault or Jews who want to pray there.”
Abu Toameh cited a former Jordanian member of parliament, Bassam Haddadin, who emphasized that the idea of installing the cameras on the Temple Mount came from Jordan and said that Palestinian leadership must clarify whether or not it agreed with Malki’s comments. One Jordanian columnist reportedly protested that the PA’s refusal to set up the cameras was an affront after everything Jordan did “for the sake of the Aksa Mosque.”
A month ago, photographs obtained by Israeli police revealed that Palestinians were stockpiling rocks on the Temple Mount in advance of Jewish visits to the site during Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles.
[Photo: Steven DuBois / Flickr ]