Shin Bet Chief Diskin Predicted Tuesday Attack, Slams Gov't

Security Service chief predicted Tuesday's attack and complained of the government's reluctance to expedite the demolition of terrorists' homes.

Ze'ev Ben-Yechiel,

Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin
Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin

Three hours before another Jerusalem Municipality worker plowed his bulldozer through traffic on Jerusalem's King David Street Tuesday injuring 24 people, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin told lawmakers at a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that a repeat of the deadly July 2 bulldozer terrorist attack was likely.

The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, received indications that Jerusalem Arabs were planning to carry out attacks mimicking the murderous bulldozer rampage of three weeks ago, as well as the Mercaz HaRav shooting massacre of yeshiva students in March.

The security chief also criticized the ineffectiveness of current government policies, which he believes are hampering Israel’s armed forces in combating terror.  Diskin urged the Israeli government to demolish the homes of all three of the eastern Jerusalem Arab terrorists, to preserve Israel's deterrent capability, and accused local and State governments of dragging their feet on the approval of the house demolitions.

With dozens of construction sites throughout Jerusalem manned largely by Arabs, there is practically no effective intelligence or operational means to prevent a lone attacker from deciding one day to turn his work tool into a deadly weapon, said Diskin. The only solution, he insisted, is deterrence. The chronic failure to demolish or even seal the homes of terrorists while one attack follows another is a mistake that, according to the Shin Bet chief, emboldens future terrorists.

Diskin also brought up what he sees as weaknesses in Israeli forces’ operational abilities in eastern Jerusalem. "If we do not take care of the power vacuum, Jerusalem will turn into a serious problem," Diskin said, warning of security vacuums on both sides of the security fence snaking through the capital. According to Diskin, Israel is currently unable to provide adequate law enforcement in these areas without mobilizing large forces.

“Today, entering [the eastern Jerusalem area of] Shuafat requires massing a greater number of forces than it does entering Jenin," Diskin said.

Committee member and senior Likud MK Limor Livnat blasted the current administration in response to Diskin's warning. "These words speak like a thousand testimonies to the government's complete failure in defending its citizens."

"A government that does not listen to the head of the Shin Bet and instead focuses on conflicts between the prime minister, the foreign minister and the defense minister needs to go home," she added.