100 days after agreement Israel & Jordan at impasse over Temple Mount cameras

The deadlock on the installation of the cameras, which were originally intended to be fitted within days after the agreement, has led Israeli officials & Western diplomats to believe that violence could flare up on the Temple Mount  during the upcoming (Passover) Jewish holidays.

By i24news


The installation of security cameras on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, as part of measures agreed on between Israel and Jordan to try and deescalate tensions over the holy site has still not occurred, over three months after the agreement was reached.

An Israeli policeman walks in front of the Dome of the Rock at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on October 27, 2015. – Photo: AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP

The talks are deadlocked over a number of practical issues, including to whom the footage will be broadcast and where within the compound the cameras will be placed, according to a Haaretz report.


The agreement between Israel and Jordan, which included US mediation through Secretary of State John Kerry, was reached at the end of October. The talks were held after a series of violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces threatened to erupt into a wider conflagration.

Palestinians believe that Israel intends to change the status quo at the site — referred to by Muslims as the Al-Aqsa mosque compound — while many Israelis voice frustration over what they see as restrictions on Jewish prayer at the complex.

The stall in progress on the installation of the cameras — which were originally intended to be fitted within days of the original agreement — has led to concerns on the part of senior Israeli officials and Western diplomats that violence could flare up at the site once more during the upcoming Jewish holidays.

Passover, which will commence at the end of April, is traditionally a time of heightened tensions and the increased number of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount could spark clashes.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog meet in Rome on February 3, 2016 – Photo: AFP/FILE

Negotiations over the cameras have stumbled due to disagreements over three practical issues: Where the footage will be beamed to — whether it be Jordan, Israel or an open-access website; how much control Israel will have over the broadcast, with Jordan and the Palestinians refusing to allow the Israelis the capability to interrupt transmissions; and where the cameras will be located. Israel wants them inside the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock in order to prove that both are used to house weapons and stones that Palestinians use against Israeli security forces. Jordan and the Palestinians are opposed to this.

Meanwhile, the US State Department denied a report from Israel’s Channel 2 that Secretary of State John Kerry is due to arrive in Israel imminently in order to kick-start the peace process once again, the Times of Israel reports.

US State Department Spokesperson John Kirby tweeted on Saturday that there are “[n]o plans by John Kerry to travel soon to Israel. Also no plan by him to restart talks.” Kirby also called on both sides to reduce the current violence.

The Channel 2 report had also speculated on the possibility of some kind of accord being imposed on Israel by the US as Barack Obama’s presidency winds down, with his government believing that reaching a peace deal through negotiations will not be possible before he leaves office.

The report was largely based on an interview with opposition leader and Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog that it had conducted earlier on and comes in the wake of an ultimatum issued by France that either the two sides return to the negotiating table, or they would officially recognize a Palestinian state.


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