Photo: Gil Yohanan
The police barricade
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Dividing Jerusalem: Concrete walls separate Jewish, Arab neighborhoods

Police set up temporary wall in East Talpiot in effort to stop barrage of Molotov cocktails from nearby Jabel Mukaber.

Police set up a tall concrete wall at a small area of the East Talpiot (Armon HaNetziv) neighborhood in Jerusalem on Sunday in an effort to stop the constant barrage of Molotov cocktails being thrown from the nearby Jabel Mukaber.



The six concrete slabs were erected at an area known as "The balcony," where a house has been bombarded with dozens of firebombs over the past year.


The new wall is meant to be a temporary construction, with writing on it indicating it is "a temporary mobile police barrier." It did not prevent pedestrians from leaving or entering.


Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the barrier would remain "for as long as needed" and that it could be lengthened based on security needs.


Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: Gil Yohanan


The Jerusalem municipality issued a statement regarding the police roadblock, noting that "this is not a perimeter wall, but a temporary obstacle set up by the police in an area between East Talpiot and Jabel Mukaber, where there is a history of stone and Molotov cocktail throwing on Jewish homes and vehicles. This is done in order to prevent injuries and property damage." 


"This has no political meaning," said Emmanuel Nahshon, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry. "It's one more aspect of our security measures."


The Zionist Union, the biggest party in the opposition, slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying: "Netanyahu officially split Jerusalem today, and proved that strong speeches were one thing, and actions were a completely different matter."


"Netanyahu, who warned that 'if Herzog and Livni were in charge, we'd need armored vehicles to travel to the Western Wall,' has led to a situation in which Jerusalem was divided on his watch, Jews are afraid to go to the Western Wall, and police and soldiers are securing main streets and malls," a statement from the Zionist Union went on to say.


"Netanyahu has lost the ability to maintain the security of the citizens of Israel and to keep Jerusalem united and safe - and he must go home."


Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: Gil Yohanan


East Talpiot has been the focus of the ongoing wave of terrorism and violence and has suffered several attacks and attempted attacks.


The most serious of the attacks was on Wednesday when two terrorists boarded bus 78 and started shooting and stabbing everyone on board. Two men were murdered: Alon Goberberg and 78-years-old Haviv Haim, who lives in the neighborhood, and whose wife Shoshana is still hospitalized in serious condition. One of the terrorists was killed and the other wounded.


In another attack, a 16-year-old from Jabel Mukaber stabbed a Border Policeman asking for identification. The policeman was lightly wounded.


In light of the recent wave of violence, with most of the terrorists coming from East Jerusalem and quite a few of them from Jabel Mukaber, Israel's Security Cabinet authorized the Israel Police to impose a partial closure at flashpoints in the capital.


Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: Gil Yohanan


The Cabinet also authorized deploying more troops to the city - including increasing and expanding the police's operational capabilities and recruiting 300 additional security guards for public transportation.


In addition, more police and IDF forces were deployed to major cities and roads, and more troops were sent to sensitive spots on the West Bank separation border.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also instructed the Defense Ministry to work on plans to complete the separation barrier, particularly in sensitive areas like southern Mount Hebron.


פרסום ראשון: 10.18.15, 17:39
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