Jordan, the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, demanded on Tuesday that Israel remove surveillance cameras at the city’s sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound.
“Jordan rejects Israel’s installation of surveillance cameras on December 8 to monitor waqf officials and worshippers, particularly women,” Information Minister Mohammad Momani told state news agency Petra.
“Jordan 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).
The kingdom, which has a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, “calls for removing all such military measures.”
“Israel should not ignore Jordan’s diplomatic efforts to stop violation of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound,” Momani said.
“Jordan will not stop efforts to prevent Israel from imposing a new status quo in Jerusalem.”
The Al-Aqsa compound, which lies in Jerusalem’s Old City, is a flashpoint because of its significance to both Muslims and Jews.
Sitting above the Western Wall plaza, it houses the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques and is Islam’s third-holiest site.
It is also Judaism’s holiest place, as it was the site of the first and second Jewish temples.
Israel captured Jerusalem’s Arab eastern sector from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War.
It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community but, under the 1994 treaty, Jordan retained authority over all Muslim sites in Jerusalem.