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Jordan Calls Off Plan to Install Cameras at Jerusalem Holy Site

Time reports:  (AMMAN, Jordan) — Jordan’s prime minister on Monday said his government has decided to call off a plan to install surveillance cameras at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site, derailing a U.S.-brokered pact to ease tensions at the volatile hilltop compound.

The decision came just days before the Jewish holiday of Passover — a time of increased activity at the site. The spot is revered by Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount, and Muslims, who call it the Noble Sanctuary. It has been a frequent scene of violence in the past.

In a deal brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Jordan offered to install the cameras last fall after clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces.

 The Palestinians had accused Israel of secretly plotting to take over the site — a charge Israel strongly denies — while Israel pointed to videos showing Palestinian protesters using the mosque as cover while throwing stones and firecrackers at police. The idea was that transparency by both sides would help ease tensions.
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