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Jerusalem Mayor Acknowledges Upswing in Arab Violence

Nir Barkat, Jerusalem's mayor, admits increased violence from the city's Arab population; no appropriate punishment in place.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 12/1/2013, 11:16 AM

Nir Barkat, October 2013 (file)
Nir Barkat, October 2013 (file)
Flash90

Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat acknowledged Sunday reports of a major upswing in Arab-on-Israeli terror in the past several months - including an endless barrage of rock-throwing attacks.

"There has been a significant increase in the number of attacks from the Arab residents in the Eastern neighborhoods of the city," Barkat stated, in a Sunday morning interview with IDF Radio

Barkat noted that the appropriate measures to correct the problem should be "to create deterrence." 

Emphasizing that "a rock is a weapon," the mayor also specifically referred to the rock attack Saturday on a family vehicle in southern Jerusalem, where 2 year-old Avigail Ben-Tzion was badly injured.

Avigail is reportedly on the mend, but the wound is still fresh for the wider community, who is reeling from what seems like an endless chain of terror which has erupted in the past several months. 

Barkat is convinced that once the punishment for such attacks is increased, the problem will cease - once and for all. "The problem isn't a lack of police forces," Barkat enthused, "but rather how to create a punishment that will provide a threat, that will show them [terrorists] that crime does not pay." 

The mayor also noted that the perpetrators are from all age groups - adults and children alike - and that proper punishment can deter both camps from participating. "Once we began prosecuting terrorists throwing Molotov cocktails, the number of Molotov cocktail incidents decresed dramatically," Barkat claimed. 

He also stated that the mayoral offices had been taken on a security-laden tour of the dangerous neighborhoods, in a bid to assess the magnitude of the problem and to install security cameras in the region.