Israelis, Palestinians Debate Use of Video Surveillance Cameras at Shared Holy Site

Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed with the plan as an effort to prove Israel has not expanded Jewish presence at the holy site.

JERUSALEM — In an effort to diffuse tensions at a holy site in Jerusalem, Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes the U.S.-brokered plan to install video surveillance around the site, according to a CBS News report.

Israel wants the round-the-clock surveillance solution to show it is not expanding Jewish presence at the shared holy site between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestine has alleged Israel is trying to alter the two sides’ agreement at the site, which Jews revere as the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site and home to the biblical Jewish Temples. It is also home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third-holiest site in Islam.

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“The visits by Jews to the Temple Mount will be maintained, there will be no change, as with the prayer arrangements for the Muslims,” Netanyahu said. “Israel has an interest in placing cameras around the Temple Mount,” to prove it is not altering the status quo with the Palestinians.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Saturday that Israel and Jordan had agreed on a series of steps to halt violence revolving around the use of the holy site. Palestinians fear the cameras will be used to spy on people at the site and make arrests. Video surveillance is just one aspect of the agreement.

It is undecided who will monitor the video surveillance footage.

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