Kerry: Israel Agrees on TV Cameras to Prove Status Quo Unchanged

Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:51:49

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has agreed to install cameras on Temple Mount, which will work 24/7 to prove Israel isn’t trying to change the status quo between Muslims and Jews at the holy site, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said.

According to Kerry, Netanyahu has assured him that Israel will keep allowing freedom of worship for Muslims on the Temple Mount, the third holiest site in Islam, and has no intention of changing the status quo.

“I am pleased that Prime Minister Netanyahu has reaffirmed Israel’s commitment to upholding the unchanged status quo of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, both in word and in practice,” Kerry said on Saturday.

High ranking officials from Israel and Jordan are to meet soon to discuss security issues, the US secretary of state said. Jordan performs a special role as custodian of the Jerusalem site.

US envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Frank Lowenstein, will remain in the region for the next couple of days to finalize the details of the deal between Jordan and Israel, he added.

A senior Israeli official told the Haaretz newspaper that the Jewish state has, itself, been interested in placing webcams on Temple Mount “to refute [the] claim that Israel is changing the status quo.”

The proposal to place cameras at the holy site has been backed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah, with whom Kerry met in Amman earlier on Saturday.

Video monitoring would provide “comprehensive visibility and transparency, and that could really be a game-changer in discouraging anybody from disturbing the sanctity of this holy site,” the secretary of state said.

Kerry: Israel Agrees on TV Cameras to Prove Status Quo Unchanged

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After the talks, Kerry said that both leaders had “expressed their strong commitment to ending the violence and restoring the calm as soon as possible.”

“I hope that based on these conversations we can finally put to rest some of the false assumptions, perceptions [about Temple Mount]… Those perceptions are stoking the tensions and fueling the violence and it is important for us to end the provocative rhetoric and start to change the public narrative that comes out of those false perceptions,” the US official is cited as saying by AP.

On October 23, Israel lifted a ban on male Muslim worshipers at the Temple Mount, who had been forbidden from entering the compound on Fridays, the main prayer day for Islam, because police considered their presence hazardous; RT reported.


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