Hours after receiving approval during an emergency Security Cabinet meeting, police on Wednesday morning began sealing off violent Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem in an effort to quell the ongoing wave of terrorist attacks.
According to police, the entrances to Jabel Mukaber – the scene of Tuesday’s most deadly attack, when two men from the village killed two Jews and wounded several others on an Egged bus in neighboring Armon Hanatziv – have already been blocked by concrete barriers.
A total of three terrorists responsible for Tuesday’s attacks resided in the flashpoint neighborhood, including Ala Abu Jamal, 33, who rammed his car into a group of pedestrians
and then hacked an ultra-Orthodox man to death before being shot dead.
How can Israel put an end to this wave of terror?
Several more Palestinian neighborhoods will be closed off by the end of the day, police said, adding that 300 combat soldiers have been deployed to assist the over 4,500 police officers presently patrolling the city.
Police have not state which other neighborhoods are being sealed off as of mid-morning Wednesday.
In response to the Israeli Cabinet decision approving a ban on rebuilding after home demolitions and closing off Palestinian neighborhoods, Sari Bashi, Israel/Palestine country director at Human Rights Watch, "The recent spate of attacks on Israeli civilians would present a challenge for any police force." “But exacerbating the punitive policy of home demolitions is an unlawful and ill-considered response,” she added.
Further, Bashi said, “Locking down east Jerusalem neighborhoods will infringe upon the freedom of movement of all Palestinian residents rather than being a narrowly tailored response to a specific concern. The checkpoints are a recipe for harassment and abuse.”