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Islamic bodies in Jerusalem back Jordan’s move to cancel Aqsa cameras project

By JT - Apr 20,2016 - Last updated at Apr 20,2016

AMMAN — Islamic councils in Jerusalem on Wednesday commended Jordan's decision to shelve a project to install surveillance cameras at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif.

In a joint statement they issued Wednesday, the Waqf Administration, Awqaf Council, Islamic Higher Committee and Iftaa Department in Jerusalem said Jordan's decision re-emphasised the unity and solidarity between the Hashemite Custodian of Jerusalem and the Old City's residents, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

In their statement, Jerusalem's Islamic councils and administrations said that Jordan's aim behind installing surveillance cameras at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif was to document the Israeli settlers' frequent assaults, adding that the Kingdom's decision to suspend the project later came in the service of the public good, Petra said.

The four Jerusalemite Islamic bodies also commended Jordan's role as a custodian, saying that the Kingdom has been at the forefront in defending the Old City's holy sites, according to Petra. 

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 Tuesday 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. 


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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