An Israeli border police officer detains a Palestinian protester during a demonstration in east Jerusalem on December 16.
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
Responding to previous reports, the police say that the IDF will not take any kind of control in east Jerusalem neighborhoods, as part of a reorganization of security forces near the capital.
Last week it reported in various media outlets that as part of the large-scale move, the IDF will take control of the neighborhoods located near the security barrier, such as Kafr Akab and Shuafat refugee camp. However, reports did not specify the nature of the move.
Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post that such a move is not on the horizon.
“There is no such plan. The IDF is not going to take command or control over Israeli-Arab neighborhoods in any way whatsoever,” he said.
Rosenfeld explained that the move is an internal IDF change in the area of “Greater Jerusalem,” which is essentially the suburbs of east Jerusalem and already under military control, consisting of places such as Abu Dis and Eizariya (Bethany).
He also said that as part of the move, new units would be established to strengthen the coordination between the IDF, Shin Bet, Israel Police and Border Police around Jerusalem.
“This move is intended to prevent the entrance of terrorists into Jerusalem,” he said.
Rosenfeld then clarified that “the Israel Police and the Border Police will continue their operations in all areas.
“There will be no changes to the Israeli neighborhoods, [meaning] to the Israeli-Arab villages in Jerusalem,” he added.
There are some 120,000 people living in the Jerusalem neighborhoods located beyond the security barrier. Residents of these neighborhoods often complain about the lack of municipal services and law enforcement.
The Jerusalem Municipality, however, says that entering these neighborhoods – which are beyond the IDF checkpoints leading to the West Bank – is dangerous, and sending workers there requires extra security.