Avi Dichter
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Dichter: East Jerusalem Arabs loyal to Palestinian world
Internal security minister says peace negotiations between Israel, Palestinians 'will not include a discussion on the capital's borders'

Avi Dichter said Monday that "the Arabs of east Jerusalem live in two different worlds but are loyal only to the Palestinian world, and this is very problematic for us from the criminal and terrorist standpoint."


Addressing a conference held at the Lander Institute in Jerusalem, the internal security minister said that to his understanding, the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians "will not include a discussion on the capital's borders".


Dichter, who during his tenure as Shin Bet chief was one of the key proponents for the construction of the West Bank security fence, said that over the past six years Israel's governments "knew that the fence's route reflected a political as well as a security-related vision".


The minister dismissed recent claims made by Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Raed Salah according to which Israel was conspiring to encroach on the Temple Mount to build a Jewish temple near the Al-Aqsa mosque.


"Salah is well-aware that the Temple Mount has never been more secure in the way it is administered," he said.


Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror told the conference that those supporting the transfer of Palestinian neighborhoods in and around east Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority "are suggesting another version of the unilateral withdrawals from Gaza and Lebanon.


"The transfer of Palestinians neighborhoods will cost us dearly," he said. "In the short term, the residents of the Arab neighborhoods will move into (west) Jerusalem. They cannot be prevented from doing so; they hold blue (Israeli) identification cards."


Amidror added that Israel must make every effort to connect Jerusalem to Ma'ale Adumim in order to "protect the capital from the east". 


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