Muslims reject surveillance cameras installed at Temple Mount

Police seek to replace metal detectors with security cameras. Waqf rejects all security measures to prevent terror attacks.


Temple Mount
Temple Mount
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

JTA - Israel Police installed sophisticated surveillance cameras at the Lion’s Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, where most Muslim worshippers enter the Temple Mount, in an effort to clear the metal detectors from the site.

The new cameras installed on Saturday night would be able to detect those carrying weapons, who could be taken aside and checked by police.

Worshippers who arrived at the site on Sunday morning refused to enter the compound due to the cameras.

The Jordanian Waqf - an Islamic trust which administers the site - rejected the cameras as a violation of the status quo. “We confirm our total rejection of the electronic gates and all new occupation measures that will lead to a change in the historical and religious status quo in Jerusalem and its holy sites, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the Waqf said in a statement.

The new security measures were put into place after three Arab-Israelis shot and killed two Israeli Druze police officers at the holy site on July 14. Since the metal detectors have been in place, Muslims have refused to enter the Temple Mount, instead praying outside of its gates, leading to clashes and the deaths of at least 5 rioters in recent days.

Jews ascended the Mount for the first time in many years without the Muslim Waqf shadowing them and watching their every move.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, or COGAT, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, said Saturday that he is willing to consider alternatives to metal detectors, as long as they prevent future attacks on the Temple Mount.

“Israel doesn’t want to change the status quo, this is a clear message to the Muslim world from the Israeli government. We don’t want to change the political or religious status quo, nor the situation on the ground. The only thing we want is to ensure no one can enter with weapons again and carry out another attack,” he told Ynet.

In an interview with BBC Arabic he said: “I want to call on our neighbors in Arab countries, and on Muslims in general: If someone has an idea on how to prevent another attack and promise worshipers that there won’t be more terror attacks, ahlan wa sahalan (hello and you’re welcome in Arabic).”