Thursday, November 05, 2015

Jordan's Abdallah Implies Al-Aqsa Compound Not A Mosque

As we all know, the Muslims assert that the entire 144 dunam enclosed compound they call Hara A-Sharif is one big mosque.

For example

Sheikh Yusuf Salameh, a preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque...added that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is spread over 144 dunams of land and includes the entire area within the walls, buildings, roads, terraces, and domes of the mosque. He said the mosque is land belonging to the Waqf both above the ground and below it. Salameh called on UNESCO to bear the responsibility and preserve the historic Islamic sites in the holy city.

And here

Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme ‎Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ ‎Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs: ‎‎“As far as we are concerned, the entire ‎Al-Aqsa Mosque, whose area is 144,100 ‎square meters, 144 dunams and 100 ‎‎[square] meters, includes the covered Al-‎Aqsa Mosque, that is, the Southern ‎Mosque, as well as the ancient ‎underground Al-Aqsa Mosque beneath ‎the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Marwani Prayer ‎Hall [Solomon’s Stables], the Dome of the ‎Rock, the courtyards and porticoes, ‎schools and walls – including the Al-‎Buraq Wall (i.e., the Western Wall), ‎which is called, and will always be ‎called, the Al-Buraq Wall, whether they ‎like it or not [– all this is the Al-Aqsa ‎Mosque].

But then I read this

Two mosques at a sensitive Jerusalem holy site will be exempt from monitoring by security cameras, Jordan's king said Thursday, in an apparent attempt to allay Palestinian concerns about his plan to install the cameras inside the hilltop compound.

According to logic, the mosques are indeed separate entities then.



State Department:  U.S. still wants 24/7 broadcast via internet of Temple Mount cameras

John Kirby
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
November 5, 2015

(Video starts at 2:03)


QUESTION: Moving on, let’s go to – in the Middle East. One of the major planks of the Secretary’s platform that he announced to reduce tensions between Israelis and the Palestinians was the installation of cameras to monitor the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary 24/7. At the time that it was announced, he said that they would be hopefully up and running soon, and then in subsequent comments you talked about how this video would be available to everyone live, 24/7. Now there are reports out of Jordan, which is an integral part of – an integral player in this, that not only will there not be any cameras in the two mosques up there but that the video will not be seen anywhere except in Amman, and that it could take another six weeks for this to actually come to that. Is this okay with you guys? Is this – does this – is this in keeping with the agreement that you thought had been reached?

MR KIRBY: Well, what we understand is that Israel and Jordan still remain engaged on this. And as for the specifics of how it’s going to go, I’d refer you to them. But the Secretary continues to believe that this is an important component of increasing transparency and thereby helping to enhance security. But as to where the cameras are going to be mounted and how they’re going to be connected, I mean, I would point you to officials in Israel and Jordan to speak to that. It’s our understanding that technical teams from both countries will be working out the details. It is still our expectation that the video footage would be livestreamed and available 24/7 to the public.

QUESTION: Everywhere?

MR KIRBY: That’s still our expectation.

QUESTION: Okay. So it would be a problem for you guys should that change and should the video only be available to certain people.

MR KIRBY: We would very much like to see, as the Secretary said back in Amman a few weeks ago – we’d like to see it available to the public 24/7.

QUESTION: Right. So it would be a problem if it wasn’t for you, right?

MR KIRBY: That’s – our expectation is that it’s going to be available to the public by --

QUESTION: I understand that. But your expectation seems to have been contradicted a bit today.

MR KIRBY: Well, I haven’t seen these particular comments.


MR KIRBY: So rather than rebut comments I haven’t seen, I’m just going to tell you what our expectation is.

QUESTION: Can we stay on the same topic a little bit?


QUESTION: So we’re a bit confused. So the videos by themselves would not be okay with you? You would have – you want the Jordanians to come through on the deal that you concluded with them, which is installing cameras in the two mosques, correct?

MR KIRBY: It’s not a deal that we concluded with the Jordanians, Said. It is – it’s an arrangement that Israel and Jordan arrived at, obviously one supported by Secretary Kerry – very supportive of it. And we still would like to see these cameras installed and in use as soon as possible. Nothing’s changed about that. But this has to be done by – it has to be worked out through technical teams from both countries. They’ve got to work out the modalities of it, and it’s our expectation that they will.

QUESTION: Do you think that the Jordanian king basically knuckled under pressure by a larger Palestinian population in Jordan? Do you think that he basically --

MR KIRBY: In what way?

QUESTION: In – because they protested this. They thought that the cameras would only serve Israel’s security – intelligence gathering systems --

MR KIRBY: Your question presumes that there’s been some change in policy or decision by Jordan unilaterally with respect to this, and I’m not aware of any change in the plan to install and to use these cameras, as was discussed a few weeks ago. I’m not aware that there’s been any change. So your question about whether he knuckled under – I mean, you’re using it in the past tense.


MR KIRBY: Again, I don’t know that there’s been such a decision. And as I said to Matt, it’s still our expectation that these cameras will be installed, hopefully very, very soon, and be in use very, very soon and be available to the public 24/7.


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