Minister: The news surveillance at al-Aqsa a “trap”

The Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al­-Maliki has reacted warily to the agreement between Israel and Jordan to install more security cameras at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al­Aqsa Mosque compound in an effort to diminish tensions.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, after meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Saturday, said Israel had embraced “an excellent suggestion” by the king for round­the­clock monitoring of al-­Aqsa.

But al-­Maliki called the measure a “new trap”. He told Voice of Palestine radio on Sunday that Israel was planning to use such footage to arrest Muslim worshippers it believes are “inciting” against it.

There was no immediate comment from Abbas. Saeb Erekat, secretary­general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, said Abbas had told Kerry “that he should look into the roots of the problem ­ and that is the continued occupation”.

Al-­Aqsa Mosque, which is sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews, has been the focal point of the recent wave of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Knife attacks, shootings and protests have become daily occurrences since October 1 in violence partially triggered by Israeli incursions at al-Aqsa. At least 57 Palestinians and eight Israelis have been killed since the beginning of the month.