Arab protest at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Temple Mount
Arab protest at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Temple Mount Muath Al Khatib/Flash 90

A senior Palestinian Arab religious cleric on Thursday criticized the agreement over the Temple Mount which was brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry, threatening that Muslims will break any camera that Israel places on the compound.

Speaking to the Hamas-affiliated Palestine newspaper the cleric, Najah Bakhirat, said that the agreement has not reduced tension, but on the contrary, it placed the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the negotiating table, which the Palestinians were trying to avoid.

He further claimed that the situation at the Al-Aqsa Mosque deteriorated considerably due to “acts of oppression” by Israel against Palestinians.

As for the installation of security cameras on the Temple Mount, Bakhirat said that any camera installed by Israel will be destroyed by Muslim worshipers and the longevity of each camera will be no more than a few hours.

While some Palestinian Authority officials have accepted the security camera plan brokered by Kerry, others have declared that the Arabs will not allow “the Israeli occupation” to intervene in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that only the Jordanians, who have de facto control of the compound, will be allowed to install the cameras.

Under the compromise brokered by Kerry, video cameras are to be installed inside the walled platform to help defuse tensions.

Despite the comments by some PA officials, a Jordanian official has confirmed that the details are to be worked out between officials from the Waqf, which is the site's administrator, and Israeli authorities.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has insisted that the cameras "are in Israel's interests," despite intensive criticism both over the decision to continue a ban on Jewish prayer at the holy site and suspicion that Jordan and the Palestinian Authority (PA) would exploit the cameras for their own interests. 

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