By JT – Mar 18,2016 – JORDAN TIMES
A view of Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. Jordan is installing surveillance cameras in Al Haram Al Sharif to document Israeli violations, according to Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani (File photo)
AMMAN — Surveillance cameras will be installed at Al Aqsa Mosque in the coming few days to cover the courtyards of Al Haram Al Sharif, Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani said Friday.
In remarks to Jordan Television, Momani, who is also minister of state for media affairs and communications, said no cameras will be installed in prayer areas in the mosque because the goal is to record any Israeli violations.
The Jerusalem Awqaf Department, affiliated with the Awqaf Ministry, will be in charge of the cameras, which will cover an area of 144 dunums, through a control room, he noted, stressing the legal, moral and religious importance of this step, aimed at safeguarding holy sites against Israeli transgressions.
By installing the cameras, Jordan seeks to document these violations and enable 1.7 billion Muslims to follow what is happening in the courtyards of Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine, on the Internet, Momani said, according the Jordan News Agency, Petra.
The minister also reaffirmed that Jordan sees Islamic and Christian shrines as a red line, stressing that the state will utilise all the resources at its disposal to translate this stance on safeguarding holy sites.
The cameras, he explained, were bought and examined by qualified engineers, and the installation will be monitored through field reports submitted regularly by Jerusalem Awqaf Department employees to ensure that all are doing their job as required.
The spokesperson dismissed as baseless any claims charging that the cameras will be used to detain steadfast Jerusalemites, stressing that Israel has its own cameras and drones to monitor Al Haram Al Sharif.
Moreover, Jewish extremists have expressed their opposition of Jordan’s installation of cameras, because their purpose is to document any violations and make Israel responsible before the international community for these actions, according to Momani.
The cameras will help Jordan politically, diplomatically and legally if it needs to resort to international law in the event of any Israeli violations of Al Haram Al Sharif, the minister added, describing the cameras as a tool for unequivocal evidence to dismiss Israel’s constant claims that it is not responsible for violations and incursions into Al Aqsa.
Jordan, he said, is confident that the international law and community are on its side as it works to prevent Israel from desecrating Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, based on the Hashemite custodianship of these shrines and the rejection of any attempts by Israel — as an occupying force — to introduce any changes to the status quo.
“Israel had always denied responsibility for any storming, laying the blame on the Palestinian side. Therefore, the cameras will expose any claims or attempts to distort the truth,” Momani noted.
He stressed that Al Haram Al Sharif is a purely Islamic waqf, and Israel is the occupying force, noting that Tel Aviv will never be safe if it continues to provoke 1.7 billion Muslims by violating the sanctity of these shrines.
The Kingdom, Momani noted, is spearheading the efforts of the Arab and Muslim nations in defending holy sites in Jerusalem. It has also given to the Palestinian cause more than any other country, citing the Hashemite custodianship of holy sites and the consecutive efforts to restore and renovate Al Aqsa Mosque.
“What matters is to ensure that the Jordanian vision on this issue is clear — be it to the Jordanian public, to our Palestinian brothers and sisters, who are supporting us in this, or to the Muslim world — and it is that the main goal of installing the cameras is to document any Israeli violation and avoid discussions about who is responsible for these transgressions once they occur,” the spokesperson said.