Ramallah: Palestinian officials reacted warily on Sunday to what US Secretary of State John Kerry hailed as Jordan’s “excellent suggestion” to calm The The Israeli regimei regime-Palestinian violence by putting a sensitive occupied Jerusalem holy site under constant video monitoring.
“This is a new trap,” Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki said on Voice of Palestine radio, accusing the Israeli regime 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 the Israeli regime gave assurances it has no intention of changing the status quo at Al Haram Al Sharif.
Palestinians believe the Israeli regime seeks to lift its long-standing ban on Jewish prayer at the site. This has fuelled a three-week-old wave of violence in the occupied West Bank, occupied Jerusalem, Gaza and 1948 areas.
At least 52 Palestinians have been killed in attacks and during anti-Israeli protests in the occupied West Bank and Gaza since Oct. 1. Nine Israelis have died.
Palestinians are also fuming over what they see as excessive use of force by Israeli occupation soldiers. The Israeli regime says it is justified in using lethal force to meet deadly threats.
Kerry, stepping up diplomatic efforts to stem the worst bloodshed since the 2014 Gaza war, said the Israeli regime had accepted a proposal by Jordan’s monarch, custodian of Al Haram Al Sharif, for round-the-clock monitoring by cameras.
Such surveillance, Kerry said, “could really be a game-changer in discouraging anybody from disturbing the sanctity” of the holy site, which was occupied by the Israeli regime along with East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 war.
Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Abbas had told Kerry “that he should look into the roots of the problem - and that is the continued occupation”.
In violence on Sunday, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded an Israeli near a Jewish colony in the West Bank, the military said. The Palestinian was hospitalised after being shot by the colonist.
“He (Netanyahu) wants to install cameras in order to monitor and arrest our people;, he is lying and lying,” Erekat said.
A US official said the Israeli regime and Jordanian technical officials would discuss who would conduct the video monitoring, but no date for consultations was announced.