Binyamin Netanyahu has said he hopes an agreement to maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem will reduce tensions that have triggered serious violence in recent weeks, but Palestinian leaders quickly dismissed a plan to install security cameras in the al-Aqsa mosque.Reuters' reporting of Maliki's words was similar.
The Israeli prime minister told cabinet colleagues on Sunday that a statement agreed with the US and Jordan affirmed that there would be no changes to longstanding rules about access for Jews to the ever sensitive religious compound – al-Haram al-Sharif for Muslims and Har HaBayit for Jews – in occupied East Jerusalem.
Riyad al-Malki, the Palestinian foreign minister, told the Voice of Palestine that the plan was a trap, because Israel would use video footage to arrest Muslim worshippers it claims are inciting against it.
But the PA's Foreign Minister said much more than that.
A statement from his office railed against "allegations of the existence of the right of Jews in Al-Aqsa Mosque" and said that by Netanyahu allowing Jews to visit, without praying, it "confirms his determination to enforce a temporal partition of Al-Aqsa Mosque...in its commitment to have constant visits by non-Muslims to the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which means clearly the continuation of the extremist Jewish groups daily visits to the mosque."
Nabil Shaath, member of the Central Committee of the Fatah, also said that any solution must not allow "Jewish extremists and settlers" from visiting the site, meaning it must be free of Jews altogether.
According to the PA government, the "status quo" for the Temple Mount means the status of the area under Jordanian occupation. It is pure racism not to allow Jews to visit simply because they are Jews.
But the media will not mention that. They will mention that Palestinian Arab leaders are against cameras, but they will never say that they are against Jews, even when they say that explicitly in Arabic.
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