Israel to close off East Jerusalem neighborhoods

Israel announces raft of security measures following Jerusalem attacks that killed three Israelis, injured 20

Israel to close off East Jerusalem neighborhoods

World Bulletin / News Desk

East Jerusalem neighborhoods considered "centers of friction" will be closed off or surrounded by security forces from Wednesday onwards. 

The measure, approved by Israel's security cabinet early Wednesday, allows police to decide which areas to close off after daily clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli security forces in parts of East Jerusalem since the beginning of October. 

The ruling followed two attacks in Jerusalem that killed three Israelis and injured around 20 on Tuesday. A Palestinian attacker was also killed and two others injured. 

The Israeli military confirmed it will send six units to support Israeli police after the security cabinet meeting, which also said residency rights of Palestinian attackers will be permanently revoked, their property seized and the family homes of attackers destroyed as punishment will not be allowed to be rebuilt. 

During a break from the meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli parliament, the Knesset, they will "settle accounts" with attackers who kill Israelis.

"We will exact from them the full cost. Anyone who raises his hand to harm us - will pay dearly," he said. 

Netanyahu also repeated his accusation that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other leaders had incited attacks against Israelis by criticizing Israeli policies on the Jerusalem's revered Al-Aqsa mosque. 

For most of the past month, Al-Aqsa, the third-holiest site in Islam, has been closed off to Muslim men under 50 while remaining open to non-Muslim visitors, where groups of hardline Jewish settlers have forced entry in large groups. Palestinians say the ban is part of plans to bring the mosque, currently managed by Jordanian authorities, under Israeli control. 

The Palestinian administration led by Abbas has insisted that the reason for the wave of stabbing attacks against Israelis is borne of frustration among young Palestinians living under occupation. 

The anger has also been stoked by the killing of 30 Palestinians in October after being shot dead by security forces during clashes in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, or in stabbing attacks. 

Some 20,000 Palestinians living within Israel, as citizens, demonstrated in the northern city of Sakhnin on Tuesday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. 

"We do not call for violence. On the contrary, it is the government and its head calling for violence. We call on them to stop this incitement. Our sons and daughters feel threatened today," said Wasel Taha, a former member of the Knesset. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Ekim 2015, 10:26