Why is the Palestinian Authority opposed to Jordan’s proposal to install surveillance cameras at Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews?
This is the question many in Jordan have been asking in light of the recent agreement between Israel and Jordan reached under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry. The idea was first raised by Jordan’s King Abdullah in a bid to ease tensions at the holy site in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Shortly after Israel accepted the idea, the Palestinian Authority rushed to denounce it as a “new trap” with PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and other officials in Ramallah expressing concern that Israel would use the cameras to “arrest Palestinians under the pretext of incitement.”
During the past two years, the Palestinian Authority and other parties, including Hamas and the Islamic Movement (Northern Branch) in Israel, have been waging a campaign of incitement against Jewish visits to the Haram al-Sharif. The campaign claimed that Jews were planning to destroy al-Aksa Mosque.
In an attempt to prevent Jews from entering the approximately 37-acre (150,000 square-meter) site, the Palestinian Authority and Islamic Movement in Israel hired scores of Muslim men and women to harass Jewish visitors and the police officers escorting them. The men are referred to as Murabitoun, while the women are called Murabitat (defenders or guardians of the faith).
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