Amman – Kerry: Jordan Proposes TV Cameras To Defuse Jerusalem Tensions

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    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, after their meeting at Abbas' residence in Amman, Jordan, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. APAmman, Jordan – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday sketched out steps, including Israeli-Jordanian video surveillance, he hopes may ease tensions over a Jerusalem site holy to Muslims and Jews, after weeks of violence in which dozens have died.

    Speaking in Amman after meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah, Kerry said Israel had given assurances it had no intention of changing the status quo at the site, the third holiest in Islam.

    Violence has flared throughout Israel, Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip in recent weeks. In part it has been triggered by Palestinians’ anger over what they see as Jewish encroachment on the al-Aqsa compound, which is also revered by Jews.

    At least 52 Palestinians, half of whom Israel says were assailants, have been shot dead by Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza since Oct. 1. Nine Israelis have been stabbed or shot dead by Palestinians.

    “I am pleased that (Israeli) Prime Minister (Benjamin) 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.

    He praised the proposal by the Jordanian king, the custodian of the al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem’s walled Old City, for 24-hour video surveillance at the site and said Netanyahu has agreed to “an excellent suggestion.”

    He said technical teams would meet shortly to work out how to implement the idea.

    A U.S. official told reporters it had not yet been determined who exactly would conduct video monitoring of the site, saying this would be discussed by Israeli and Jordanian officials when they meet.
    Jordanian King Abdullah II, right, meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Royal Palace in Amman Jordan, Saturday, Oct. 24 2015. Kerry said Saturday that Israel and Jordan have agreed on steps aimed at reducing tensions at a holy site in Jerusalem that have fanned Israeli-Palestinian violence. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)
    “PROVOCATIONS”

    An Israeli official who declined to be named, said: “Israel has an interest in placing cameras across the Temple Mount in order to refute the claims that it is changing the status quo.

    “We are interested in showing that the provocations are not coming from the Israeli side,” he added.

    Kerry said that placing cameras “could really be a game-changer in discouraging anybody from disturbing the sanctity of this holy site … (and will) provide comprehensive visibility and transparency.”

    Netanyahu and Kerry met in Berlin on Thursday, after which the U.S. top diplomat voiced cautious optimism a way could be found to defuse the tensions.

    Standing alongside Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Amman, Kerry said: “Israel has no intention … of dividing the Temple Mount, Haram al-Sharif, and it rejects completely any attempt to suggest otherwise.”

    Judeh said it was in the interest of Jordan and the United States for calm to be restored.

    Palestinians are also frustrated by the failure of numerous rounds of peace talks to secure them an independent state. The last round of negotiations collapsed in 2014.

    From Amman, Kerry flew to Riyadh, where he was to meet King Salman of Saudi Arabia and other senior officials.‎

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    3 COMMENTS

    1. Palestinians will have a chance at peace and “maybe” an independent state, only and only after they will recognize that there is an existing state of israel and will be forever, also they must stop teaching the school children to hate and kill the jews, before they will have any chance at a life with peace, or they could all leave and move the any 1 of the numerous 25 or 35, muslim countries,

    2. At number 1, no they won’t, the status quo will continue for the long future, Abass is a well paid pupet, Hamas is erelevant ….meaning they start wars and cause destruction to themselves but the world doesn’t recognize them as a governing body

      It will take another week or so and this to wil go away about the Arabs in Israel’s Westbank will still be living them same way they are nothing will change for them

    3. Is Israel a banana republic that anyone can do and say anything for Israel without permission from the Israeli government? Now they want on their own to put cameras, they also wanted to put French guards on the Temple Mount to protect the Arabs, next they are declaring the Kotel muslim territory, Is there a Israeli government or it is free fall now anyone can do anything and it is okay with them, or they are so weak nothing can be done to defend Israel anymore. Is Israel a sovereign nation or not with their own laws or does Israel belong to the world to do what they want to??????

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