Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa MosqueHaytham Shtayeh/Flash 90

Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, the imam of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is condemning the installation of new security cameras overlooking the entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, without coordination with the Palestinian Arab side.

The installation of the cameras, Kiswani charged, was intended to tighten the supervision of the worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to send them a message stating that they are watched from the moment they enter the site.

He stressed that all of the measures of the "occupation" in the Al-Aqsa Mosque have no merit, since the site "belongs only to Muslims."

Meanwhile, Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib, the deputy head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement that was outlawed by the Israeli government in 2015, said that the “occupation” only understands the language of force. He vowed that the Palestinians would not abandon the Al-Aqsa Mosque and would not give up on it.

Adnan al-Husseini, the Palestinian Arab governor of Jerusalem, accused Israel of trying to establish the "occupation" and terrorizing worshipers by installing cameras at all entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He added that a Palestinian state would not be established without eastern Jerusalem as its capital, based on the pre-1967 borders.

The issue of security on the Temple Mount came to the forefront of political discourse after three Israeli-Arab terrorists murdered two Druze police officers at the compound in July.

Following the terrorist attack, metal detectors were installed at the entrances to the Temple Mount by Israel. The Cabinet eventually decided to remove the metal detectors following riots by Arabs and employ other means to enhance security at the site.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan last week announced the establishment of a new police unit to secure the Temple Mount.

The new unit will be under the authority of the Jerusalem District of the Israel Police, and its sole purpose will be to ensure the safety of visitors to the Temple Mount.

The new unit is to include more than 100 police officers who will work to ensure security and public order in the Temple Mount area. They will protect visitors to the Temple Mount and will employ the most advanced intelligence and technological tools currently available.