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Rivlin Promises to Increase Mt. of Olives Security

Police do precious little to defend Jews who wish to visit the massive Jewish cemetery at the Mount of Olives, activists said.
By David Lev
First Publish: 2/9/2014, 11:45 PM

Mount of Olives cemetery (file)
Mount of Olives cemetery (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Police do precious little to defend Jews who wish to visit the massive Jewish cemetery at the Mount of Olives, and Jewish activists have had enough of police inaction over attacks by Arabs on Jews attempting to visit graves or pray at the site. Activists Jeff Dabah and Harvey Schwartz met Sunday with MK Reuven Rivlin on the matter.

The two presented Rivlin, a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, with statistics that portrayed the difficult situation Jewish visitors to the site experience. They explained to Rivlin that attacks against Jews actually began long before they arrived at the cemetery; as Jews drove through the Maale Zeitim area (Ras el-Amud), they were attacked by Arabs on a regular basis.

Despite the fact that police recently opened a station in the area, there was almost no police enforcement whatsoever in the area, and Arabs had a free hand to harass Jews and desecrate graves at the cemetery.

Rivlin told the pair that his own parents were buried at the site, and he was well aware of the problems there. He promised to assist Jewish groups seeking to ensure safe worship for Jews at the site, and to work with police to ensure real security in the area. “Tens of thousands of Jews are buried on the Mount of Olives, and it is a symbol for Jews around the world,” Rivlin said. “We cannot have a situation where Jews cannot ascend the Mount of Olives and pray there without interference. We must do everything to achieve security there,” he added.