Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to complete the security barrier in the area of Jerusalem, in the aftermath of the three terrorist attacks Tuesday, in which an American graduate student was killed and 15 people were wounded.
The attacks occurred around the time that US Vice President Joe Biden landed in Israel for a two-day visit.
Late Tuesday night, Netanyahu held security consultations with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai and representatives from the IDF.
During the meeting, Netanyahu made a number of security decisions in addition to the already established measures such as the closure of villages where Palestinian terrorists live or left from to carry out their attacks.
Media outlets that promote incitement will be closed.
Legislation to punish those who help Palestinians illegally enter or live in areas of Israel within the Green Line will be fast-tracked. Work and trade permits for Palestinians will also be denied.
Netanyahu did not clarify what he meant with regard to the completion of the security barrier in the area of Jerusalem, although he did speak of finishing the barrier by the Tarkumiya checkpoint that separates the area of Kiryat Gat from the West Bank.
Netanyahu pledged last month to complete the security barrier in response to calls to do so from opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union). At the time, officials said that the premier planned to focus on the Jerusalem area.
Work on the barrier first began in 2002 in response to the second intifada. Sixty percent of the barrier’s 790- km. route has been completed.
The project has been mostly frozen since 2007.
In a written response, the Defense Ministry told The Jerusalem Post last month, “Thus far, 470 km.
of the security barrier have been completed.” It added, “an additional 71 km. still remain.” That would account for a built-up route of 541 km.
In October 2014, the ministry told the Post that 460 km. of the barrier had been completed out of a 525-km.
route that did not include the blocs of Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion.
At that time, it explained that the route of the barrier around Jerusalem itself was 145 km., of which 21 km. had not been completed. It estimated that it would be finished by the end of the year.
Since then only 10 km. of the overall barrier route have been completed.
The Defense Ministry to date has refused to answer any other specific questions about the route of the barrier in the area of Jerusalem.