Jordan to Israel: Stop Watching Temple Mount

Thursday, December 19, 2013 |  Ryan Jones  

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan wants Israel to take its “hungry eyes” off the Temple Mount.

Speaking to his country’s state-run Petra news agency, Jordanian Information Minister Mohammad Momani said his government, which still officially oversees religious control of the Temple Mount, finds it unacceptable that Israel maintains security cameras at the holy site.

“Jordan rejects Israel’s installation of surveillance cameras,” said Momani, adding that his government also “does not accept that Israel has set up a police station inside the compound. It is a flagrant military violation of the freedom of worshippers as well as an interference in the affairs of the Jordanian Islamic waqf [Islamic endowment].”

Momani spoke of the security cameras and police station as though they were an effort to “impose a new status quo in Jerusalem,” despite the fact that both security measures have been in place for decades.

He also for some reason found it necessary to imply that Israel’s security cameras were put in place, at least in part, in order to play “Peeping Tom” on Muslim women.

When Israel captured, or, rather, liberated the Temple Mount from internationally unrecognized Jordanian control in 1967, one of then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan’s first post-war acts was to hand control of the sacred plateau back to the Hashemites.

Many Israelis now see that decision as a historical mistake, given that today Jews and Christians are unable to pray on the Temple Mount without sparking an outburst of Muslim violence.

Israel’s Knesset recently renewed debate on enforcing freedom of religion for Jews and Christians on the Temple Mount. But Sheikh Azzam Khatib, director-general of the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic Trust), told the AP that if Jews and Christians are permitted to say even silent prayers at the site, “there will be a lot of bloodshed.”

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