Ramallah, 13 Muharram 1437/26 October 2015 (MINA) – Palestinian officials reacted warily on Sunday to what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hailed as Jordan’s excellent suggestion to calm Israeli-Palestinian violence by putting a sensitive Jerusalem holy site under constant video monitoring.
This is a new trap, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Voice of Palestine radio, accusing Israel of planning to use such footage to arrest Muslim worshippers it believes are inciting against it.
Kerry, who met Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman on Saturday, said Israel gave assurances it has no intention of changing the status quo at the al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is holy to Muslims and Jews, The Peninsula quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Muslim fears, amplified in social media, that Israel seeks to lift its long-standing ban on Jewish prayer at the site, have fuelled a three-week-old wave of Palestinian stabbings in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and Israeli cities. Israel has repeatedly denied the allegation.
At least 52 Palestinians, half of whom Israel says were assailants, have been killed in attacks and during anti-Israeli protests in the West Bank and Gaza since October 1. Nine Israelis have been stabbed or shot dead by Palestinians.
Palestinians are also fuming over what they see as excessive use of force by Israeli police and soldiers. Israel says it is justified in using lethal force to meet deadly threats.
Kerry, stepping up diplomatic efforts to stem the worst Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed since the 2014 Gaza war, said Israel had accepted a proposal by Jordan’s monarch, custodian of the al-Aqsa compound, for round-the-clock monitoring by cameras. (T/Imt/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)