Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his military secretary Avi Gil to convince National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir to stop the police operation in eastern Jerusalem after the PM received warnings from the heads of the security apparatus, Kan 11 News reported Thursday night.
Netanyahu decided to intervene in what a Ben Gvir press release on Monday called, “the operation to return governing in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods.” The minister reported that “After law enforcement activity last night in Issawiya, where Friday’s terrorist came from, early in the morning the forces arrived in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood and destroyed a house that was built illegally and without permits. Two were arrested at the scene.”
Ben Gvir then declared: “We are continuing the operation and enforcing the law everywhere in the city, we must also return governing to the eastern neighborhoods of the city and everywhere in the State of Israel.”
Well, it turns out there’s such a thing as too much law enforcement. Sources close to the prime minister told Kan 11 that Netanyahu has had conversations with the heads of the security apparatus, including IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar, and his military secretary, and there appears to be a consensus among the professionals that the enhanced enforcement operation that was started by Ben Gvir in eastern Jerusalem must be stopped.
The operation included increased enforcement of construction laws, complete with heavy and massive demolition of illegal buildings.
The Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry issued a protest, saying that “the Israeli government is solving its internal crises, including the judicial reform crisis, at the expense of Palestinian land and the rights of the Palestinian people,” and added: “The ruins in Jerusalem are part of a large-scale ethnic cleansing process against the Palestinian presence.”
Sometimes your enemy comes up with the best ideas for what you should do next…
And so, in a special meeting they held with the Prime Minister, the heads of the security apparatus asked Netanyahu to stop the operation, following which, Netanyahu asked his military secretary to talk to Ben Gvir about the need to stop his hyper law enforcement thing and explain the need to avoid rage in Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods. In other words, stop upsetting Arabs.
Netanyahu himself has not approached Ben Gvir at this stage, nor has he taken steps to stop the operation himself – because that would upset his base.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir circulated the draft of his proposal to transfer the Border Guard units in Judea and Samaria from the IDF and the Defense Ministry to the Israel Police, under Ben Gvir’s control. He plans to submit the proposal for a vote at the cabinet meeting this coming Sunday. The transfer would be in keeping with the coalition agreements between Likud and Otzma Yehudit.
Expect Bibi to take his time with this one, just as he has done with his coalition agreement with Religious Zionism whereby Bezalel Smotrich would take over the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.
Because Bibi makes promises, but he doesn’t promise to keep them.