Jordan cancels plan to install cameras at Al-Aqsa mosque
AMMAN - Jordan has decided not to install security cameras at Islam's third holiest site, the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, because of some Palestinian doubts, Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur said Monday.
"We have been surprised by the reactions of some (Palestinians) who have made comments expressing their doubts about the aims of the project," the official Petra news agency quoted Nsur as saying.
On March 20, Jordan said it would set up 55 security cameras around the flashpoint compound to monitor any Israeli "violations".
The site -- revered by Jews as their holiest site, the Temple Mount -- is administered by a Jordanian trust or "Waqf".
In October, US Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed a plan for cameras at the site in a bid to calm repeated disturbances, after meeting Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed.
"Because we respect the point of view of the Palestinians... we believe the project is no longer consensual, but a potential source of conflict, and have decided to end it," Nsur was quoted as saying.
He said Amman's main objective had been to install surveillance cameras "at the compound, not inside the mosques, to document repeated Israeli aggressions at the holy places".
Firebrand Israeli Arab cleric Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement, had called on Jordan to reconsider the project, fearing that it would become "the eyes of Israel".
The compound in east Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed in a move not recognised internationally, houses the famed golden Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces erupted at the compound last September amid fears among Muslims that Israel was planning to change rules governing the site.
Netanyahu has repeatedly said there are no such plans.