Israel agrees to 24-7 surveillance at Temple Mount site

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Israel will provide continuous video surveillance at the Temple Mount site in Jerusalem, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

The 24-7 surveillance, which Kerry said was approved by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “will provide comprehensive visibility and transparency” and discourage “anybody from disturbing the sanctity of this holy site,” Kerry said.

Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

“Today I hope that we could begin to turn the page on this very difficult period,” Kerry said. “We have to join together in calling for an immediate end to violence. We must stress the importance of avoiding provocative actions and rhetoric, and we must work cooperatively. It’s the only way to go forward, is to work cooperative to restore calm.”

The Temple Mount area has been a main point of contention as tensions between Jews and Palestinians have boiled over. The site is sacred to two religions as the Temple Mount to Jews and as al-Aqsa Mosque complex, or Noble Sanctuary, to Muslims.

In recent weeks, eight Israelis have been killed after being stabbed, shot or run over by Palestinians. Netanyahu said Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is partly to blame for inciting the violence due to his comments concerning the Temple Mount site.

Israeli security forces have killed at least 45 Palestinians, some of whom attacked Jews.

Kerry said Israel confirmed its pledge “to continue to enforce its longstanding policy on religious worship at the Temple Mount” in which Jews can visit, but not pray there.

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