Police car hit by stones in Jerusalem
Yossi Yehoshua

Stone throwing can't be tackled without a police chief

Analysis: Instead of holding emergency discussions on the deteriorating security situation in Jerusalem, the prime minister and public security minister should be working to find suitable commander for the police at this time of crisis.

Jerusalem is losing hold of the security situation. The occasional "lone wolf terrorist" can no longer be blamed. These are not concrete incidents, but rather a pattern which has been repeating itself for a long time now.



The police are failing, the terrorists are undeterred by the punitive measures and feel they have legitimacy to go on. It's happening on the roads, in the Old City and on Road 443, one of the two traffic routes to the State of Israel's capital, which has become a center of stabbings and stone throwing on a daily basis.


The stone terror is nothing new for the residents of Jerusalem, but there must be a real change in the way it is treated. The past year has seen a dramatic rise in the extent of stone throwing, but the reports go unnoticed until a disaster happens, like the one which took place on the eve of Rosh Hashana.


The murder of a baby in his bed failed to ignite the most explosive area in the world, but that is now being done by the joint prayers on the Temple Mount. Despite the events in the capital, despite the attempts made by senior Palestinian Authority officials to heat up the atmosphere and despite the incitement on the social networks, the public in the territories has yet to take to the streets or to the famous areas of friction. But the worst may still be ahead, when thousands of Jewish worshippers visit Jerusalem for the holiday of Sukkot. The challenge will then be much greater.


The situation in Jerusalem and its complexity is one of those moments when the police must have a commander (Photo: AP)
The situation in Jerusalem and its complexity is one of those moments when the police must have a commander (Photo: AP)


The government can drop the urgent meetings held in the prime minister's bureau. Instead, it should go straight to the Jerusalem District Police computers, pull out the conclusions of the discussions held following the riots in the city and order the police to boost forces, especially in the Border Guard unit.


An urgent improvement is needed in intelligence, the police must carry out much more arrests and operate more snipers and forces disguised as Arabs in order to collect intelligence, and severely punish the rioters using all legal means in order to restore the calm in the capital.


There is nothing which was raised in the "emergency discussion" Tuesday evening which hasn't been said and written before, apart from the fact that Israel is missing the person who used to be dominant in handling such crises: The police commissioner. The situation in Jerusalem and its complexity is one of those moments when the police must have a commander.


This is exactly where we need someone to tie all the ends together and ensure that the orchestra - which includes the political echelon, the Shin Bet and the IDF - plays together according to the same notes. Jerusalem District Police Commander Moshe (Chico) Edri has been tasked with this mission. But he, like all other senior officers in the district, is currently engaged in a survival war following the investigation report into the Jerusalem Pride Parade murder, which led to the dismissal of five of his senior officers, including a sub-district police station commander and intelligence officers.


It should be noted, however, that it seems Edri prepared his forces well for Temple Mount riots on Rosh Hashana. His people acted determinedly and prevented a major escalation. The excellent relationship between the Jerusalem District and the IDF's Central Command, which stems from the personality of the commanders on both sides,

is good news too. But it's not enough.


If the fact that there is no police chief were not enough, the most relevant district at the moment is experiencing a deep command crisis. Therefore, the prime minister and public security minister should perhaps devote their time not only to emergency discussions, but also to finding a suitable police commissioner who will know how to command the police and the Jerusalem District at this time of crisis.


פרסום ראשון: 09.16.15, 14:05
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