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Jordan shelves Aqsa cams plan amid ‘doubts’ cast over move in Palestine

By JT - Apr 18,2016 - Last updated at Apr 18,2016

Palestinians walk next to Damascus Gate, a main entrance to Jerusalem's Old City, before the Friday’s prayer at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif (AFPphoto )


AMMAN — Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour has announced that Jordan would shelve a project to install surveillance cameras at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, citing opposition to the move among Palestinians.

Ensour said in a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that some Palestinians, including Jerusalem residents, had doubts over the project’s aims, although the cameras were planned to be installed in the courts of the sanctuary and not inside the mosques, with the aim of monitoring and documenting Israeli violations in the Muslim shrine and share them with the world. 

Realising that the plan might cause controversy, Jordan found it a sound decision to freeze the project, the premier said, renewing the Kingdom’s continued support for the Palestinian people and their determination to carry on with efforts to defend Jerusalem and its holy sites “diplomatically, legally and media wise, at all international venues”. 

The documentation was meant to gain legal, political and media benefits in countering recurrent attacks on the holy sites, Ensour said, adding that the biggest benefit was connecting Muslims around the world to the sanctuaries to increase their support for them.

Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Hayel Dawood last month rejected as baseless remarks by Raed Salah, head of the Islamist movement in Israel, that the Jordanian surveillance cameras project in Al Aqsa Mosque would serve Israel and help it detect Palestinians defending the shrine.


Dawood stressed the cameras were a Jordanian initiative aimed at monitoring Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif to document any Israeli violations against Islamic sites and Jerusalemites.

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