Defying the position of sources close to the Prime Minister, who claimed he did not have the authority to do it, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir is carrying out a wide operation in eastern Jerusalem following the wave of attacks that has plagued the city in recent weeks.
On Friday, following the bloody ramming by an Arab terrorist of three precious Jewish lives, two of them children––and brothers––Ben Gvir held a situation assessment meeting at the Jerusalem Police district headquarters with police commissioner Kobi Shabtai, district commander Doron Turgeman, and the district’s senior officers, directing them to prepare plans for Operation Guardian of the Walls 2 in eastern Jerusalem starting this Sunday – to deal with the nests of terrorism in the city.
Ben Gvir said in a statement: “The purpose of the operation is to fight and uproot terrorism, to reach the terrorists’ homes, and to stop terrorism before it gets to carrying out attacks.”
The Minister instructed the commissioner and the district commander to begin on Sunday a series of proactive operations, including the location and arrest of 150 terror suspects whose names have already been noted by Shin Bet and police intelligence.
In addition, police enforcement will be revved up in eastern Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods as well as the villages right outside the city, so that everyday forces will enter a neighborhood or a village and engage in policing and enforcement operations together with other security forces. In addition, the demolition of illegal buildings in eastern Jerusalem will proceed full force.
When asked about PM Netanyahu’s questioning whether he had the authority to carry out the anti-terror campaign, Ben Gvir responded: “Of course, I have the authority. Our intention with Guardian of the Wall 2 is not to bring tanks out into the streets, nor targeted assassinations, but to start enforcing the law.”
In addition, several eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods will be blocked by “breathing check posts,” involving police examination of every suspicious vehicle. This means that traffic leaving these neighborhoods will be delayed significantly each morning, as Police and Border Guard officers examine each driver.
With that in mind, Ben Gvir intends to raise in Sunday’s cabinet meeting his demand for a total closure of the Issawiya neighborhood, on the eastern slopes of the Mount Scopus, which has been home to many “lone wolf terrorists.” Ben Gvir also asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to approve enlisting Border Guard reserve companies and transferring additional companies from Judea and Samaria to eastern Jerusalem.
A source close to Minister Ben Gvir told kipa that “Eastern Jerusalem has become an ex-territory in the heart of the State of Israel, and a hotbed of terrorism and an enormous crime hothouse: nationalist and regular crime, wild incitement in mosques, in school textbooks, in establishing a deep terror infrastructure by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, in illegal construction, in the failure to collect income tax, in unlicensed businesses, in gangs that come out of the eastern neighborhoods of the city and terrorize the Jewish residents, and on and on. All of this must be burned off in an extensive and determined offensive which will restore security to the residents of Jerusalem.”