The US is banking on Jordan to ease tensions at the Israeli flashpoint site of al-Aqsa mosque. Secretary of State John Kerry has said Israel and Jordan have agreed to take steps to curb the increasing violence which has claimed dozens of lives.
The site, considered holy by Muslims, Christians and Jews, will be put under 24-hour video surveillance after a fresh wave of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Jordan is the formal custodian of the prominent eastern Jerusalem site, which Jews call Temple Mount and known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif.
Subsequent to his discussions with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah, Kerry, speaking in Amman, said: "All the violence and the incitement to violence must stop. Leaders must lead."
Kerry said it was an "excellent suggestion" by Abdullah to introduce round-the-clock surveillance at the site. "This will provide comprehensive visibility and transparency and that could really be a game changer in discouraging anybody from disturbing the sanctity of the holy site.
"There are serious additional issues, security and otherwise, between Israelis and Palestinians that must be addressed but we've agreed that this is a first step to creating some space in order to allow us to resume those steps and that dialogue."
Kerry, who met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier, added that Israel had reassured that it does not intend to change the status quo of the complex. He said Netanyahu had promised to extend the existing rules which lay down that Muslims can only pray at the site, but Jews, Christians and members of other faiths can only visit.
About 50 Palestinians, some of whom were attackers, have been killed in recent weeks and 10 Israelis have also lost their lives during the clashes.
Following Jordan's announcement, Netanyahu released a statement saying Israel recognised "the importance of the Temple Mount to peoples of all three monotheistic faiths... and reaffirms its commitment to upholding unchanged the status quo of the Temple Mount, in word and in practice".