Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kerry: Video Monitoring to Ease Jerusalem Holy Site Tensions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kerry: Video Monitoring to Ease Jerusalem Holy Site Tensions

Article excerpt

JERUSALEM * Looking to reduce tension at a Jerusalem holy site that set off weeks of Mideast violence, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced Saturday that Israel and Jordan had agreed on steps, including round-the-clock video monitoring, to bring an end to the unrest.

But the announcement contained few details on how the monitoring system would work, and it was not immediately clear whether it would be enough to calm the unrest that has raised fear that the region is on the brink of a new round of heavy fighting.

Late Saturday, Israel said it welcomed "increased coordination" with the Jordanians. There was no immediate Palestinian reaction.

Kerry had spent several days holding talks with Israeli and Arab leaders, capping his efforts with meetings Saturday with the Palestinians and Jordan. Kerry said that King Abdullah II of Jordan had suggested the monitoring and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had accepted.

"All the violence and the incitement to violence must stop. Leaders must lead," Kerry said in the Jordanian capital after meeting with the king and with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Clashes erupted at the holy site last month over rumors that Israel was expanding its presence at the sensitive Jerusalem shrine, revered by both Muslims and Jews.

The violence quickly spread across Israel, and into the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the past five weeks, 10 Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks, most of them stabbings, while 49 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, including 28 said by Israel to be attackers and the rest in clashes.

Israel has repeatedly denied Palestinian allegations that it is trying to change long-standing understandings under which Jews are allowed to visit, but not pray at, the shrine. Israel has accused Palestinian political and religious leaders of lying and inciting violence. …

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