As tensions escalate, anti-Arab graffiti with swastikas found in Jerusalem neighborhood

Jerusalem Municipality working with police to launch new urban policing unit.

ARAB HATE-SPEECH found in Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhood early Tuesday morning.  (photo credit: JERUSALEM POLICE)
ARAB HATE-SPEECH found in Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhood early Tuesday morning.
(photo credit: JERUSALEM POLICE)
On the heels of a series of terrorist attacks, and thwarted attacks that have plagued the capital and West Bank, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced on Tuesday that he is working with police to launch a new urban policing unit in the coming months.
According to a statement issued by city hall, the unit will be composed of approximately 100 police officers and municipal supervisors who will jointly patrol at-risk neighborhoods within the capital, including a-Tur, Shuafat and Isawiya.
“In the coming months, the municipality will establish a joint unit with the police to include 50 inspectors and 50 police officers who will work on dozens of patrols all around the city,” the statement said.
“The establishment of the unit will be a significant addition to the city’s resources and will increase the sense of security and quality of life.”
The announcement was made after Barkat met with Jerusalem District police head Asst.-Ch. Moshe Edri and members of the Public Security Ministry, who approved the measure.
“Joint operations with the police and the municipality will add important and significant security measures to increase security and confidence in neighborhoods,” said Barkat in the statement. “I thank the commander of the Jerusalem District police.”
Edri said the patrols will be composed of pairs of municipal and police personnel driving municipal cars at all hours in flashpoint neighborhoods. The initiative, he said, would “constitute a significant force multiplier to improve security for city residents and visitors, and enhance rapid response to events.”
“The fruitful cooperation of the police with the mayor of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Municipality is a significant factor in strengthening security and service in the city, and I thank the mayor of Jerusalem,” said Edri.
The announcement follows two recent terrorist attacks against Border Police and IDF personnel in the capital, as well as numerous rock attacks against Jewish residents. During the height of rioting in the capital last summer, Barkat launched a similar unit comprised of municipal workers to buttress thinly spread police forces.
Meanwhile, amid the heightened tensions during the month of Ramadan, police said on Tuesday that crudely spray-painted anti-Arab graffiti in Hebrew with two swastikas were found in the capital’s Patt neighborhood.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said forensic evidence has been gathered from the scene of the vandalism and that an investigation has been launched to find the suspects.
No arrests have been made, he said.