Rain in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Following three weeks of heightened security – including numerous roadblocks placed at violent Arab neighborhoods, an extra 1,200 Border Police officers, and coordination with the IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) – police on Monday said Jerusalem’s terrorism wave has largely been contained.
While emphasizing that the city remains at its highest state of alert, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the capital’s far-reaching emergency security plan has prevented another terrorist attack from taking place for roughly one week.
“With police across the country drafted to Jerusalem, as well as 16 extra Border Police units, and rotating roadblocks and checkpoints as a strategic maneuver, police have been able to stop another threat of a terrorist attack,” Rosenfeld said.
However, he noted that the frequency of attacks over the last week against IDF soldiers has increased in the West Bank, where over 10 knife attacks have taken place and at least five terrorists have been shot dead.
“We can see a change in the geography in the wave of terrorist attacks from Jerusalem and different districts throughout the country, which are now unfortunately taking place in Judea and Samaria against IDF personnel,” he said.
“The situation in Jerusalem has changed after heightened security, so now there are less here and more in places like Hebron.
There are more attacks against IDF personnel and less against Jerusalemites and police officers.”
Rosenfeld said more than 500 Palestinian suspects have been arrested in east Jerusalem since October 3 for rioting and attacking police with rocks and firebombs. He estimated that roughly one dozen suspected terrorists have also been arrested before carrying out imminent attacks.
Still, he said ground operations in Jerusalem are far from over, noting that the police continues to operate on high alert.
“Police units and security forces have contained the wave of attacks over the last few days, although heightened security remains in place in all public areas, with an emphasis on the Old City,” he said.