The attempt of Islamic Waqf workers to set up security cameras on the Temple Mount without Israeli authorities’ approval constitutes a provocation, says Jerusalem District Police.
• Prime Minister’s Office: Trilateral agreement stipulates installation must be coordinated by all parties.
By Daniel Siryoti, Gideon Allon, Yoni Hersch & Efrat Forsher
Israeli authorities on Monday prevented the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem from installing security cameras in the Temple Mount compound. A senior source said the move constituted provocation and stressed that security cameras will be set up around the holy site only after the move was coordinated with Israel.
The waqf is an Islamic trust that controls and manages the current Islamic edifices on and around the Al-Aqsa mosque. A statement by the waqf said, “Israel is only interested in setting up cameras where it serves its interest, where it won’t necessarily record what goes on in the [Al-Aqsa] compound.”
The Prime Minister’s Office dismissed the allegation, saying, “The detailed arrangements for installing security cameras across the Temple Mount compound, as agreed on by Israel, Jordan and the United States, stipulate the move must be coordinated by the professional echelons, which will also determine the placement of the cameras.
“The cameras will be installed according to arrangements that will be determined between the parties. Israel has already expressed its consent to start the process as soon as possible,” the statement said.
A Jerusalem District Police official said the police “will not allow anyone to infringe on the status quo on the Temple Mount.”
Meanwhile, Habayit Hayehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich confronted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday during a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting, saying the government has failed to make any progress on the initiative calling to strip terrorists of their Israeli citizenship or residency status.
Netanyahu suggested Smotrich “take that up with the ministry your party is heading,” referring to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, whose office was tasked with promoting the move.
Commenting on the security escalation, the prime minister told committee members Israel was “sparing no effort to defuse the situation on the Temple Mount and quell the violence.”
Also on Monday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest commented on reports suggesting the government was mulling stripping the citizenship or residency status of Palestinians residing in east Jerusalem neighborhoods outside the capital’s security fence, saying that as far as the US government knows, Israel is not “actively considering such a move.”
If it were, he said, “It would obviously be of some concern to us. The U.S. reiterates the importance of all sides avoiding provocative actions and rhetoric.”
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