PUBLIC SECURITY MINISTER Gilad Erdan points to the Temple Mount during a tour of a Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem yesterday.
(photo credit: PUBLIC SECURITY MINISTRY)
On a tour of east Jerusalem, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan praised the Jewish families residing there for understanding the significance of living in the area under dispute.
“I am excited each time to see the Jewish families here, who understand something that we should all understand: Our sovereignty in the State of Israel and the Land of Israel begins here,” he said.
Erdan was in the area’s Jewish neighborhoods on Sunday, along with Jerusalem District Police Commander Maj.- Gen. Yoram Halevy, meeting with residents and discussing options to improve the security of their communities.
During the tour, Erdan visited Ma’aleh Hazeitim on the Mount of Olives, Kidmat Zion, between Abu Dis and Jebl Mukaber, and Kfar Hateimanim in Silwan, where he was accompanied by Mati Dan, chairman of the rightwing organization Ateret Cohanim.
“The Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem is placed right on the biblical site of Jerusalem and watches Temple Mount, the holiest place to the Jewish people,” Erdan added.
It was reported that the minister is advancing a NIS 1.2 billion plan to strengthen the security infrastructure in Jerusalem, which includes adding 1,250 police officers to the capital, improving the salary of the officers and establishing a control center with thousands of “smart cameras,” which will be placed all over the Old City.
“I will continue to do everything that is in my power to make sure that every family that wants to come live here can do it and be safe,” Erdan said.
The visit came after Ateret Cohanim held a celebration Thursday marking the inauguration of a Torah scroll, in which 300 people attended.
The scroll is being housed in a Kfar Hateimanim synagogue.
The synagogue served the Yemenite community there until the 1929 riots, when the village was abandoned by its Jewish residents.
Until 2015 the Abu-Nab family lived there, and was evicted after the court recognized the Jewish ownership of land.
The ceremony was attended by Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi), MKs Moti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) and Nurit Koren (Likud), and Jerusalem City Councilmen Arieh King and Dov Kalmanovich.
The Palestinian Authority government condemned the ceremony and called it a “an Israeli act of aggression against Jerusalem,” as reported by Wafa news agency.
Spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud said the inauguration was a “grave violation of the normal situation as well as the Arabic and Islamic character of the city.”