Barkat Tells Netanyahu 'Silent Intifada' Must End

In letter to PM, Jerusalem mayor charges interior security minister with abandoning security in the capital.

Ari Yashar,

Arab rioting (illustration)
Arab rioting (illustration)
Flash 90

Mere days after trying to hush-up the "silent intifada" of terror attacks plaguing Jerusalem in the media, Mayor Nir Barkat has turned to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a letter demanding that the terror wave be ended.

The letter also reached members of the government, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and recently retired Jerusalem District Police Commander Yossi Pariente who are in the midst of a flurry of scandals, and Yedioth Aharonoth.

Barkat noted that since Operation Protective Edge and just before it, "we are witnesses to a significant rise in breaches of public order in Jerusalem and an ongoing harming of the feeling of security among residents of the capital of Israel."

The "silent intifada" has included several incidents of live gunfire by Fatah terrorists in Jerusalem, at least two near-fatal lynch-mob attempts against Jews including one this Thursday, and countless rock and firebomb attacks including on an infant day care center this week.

"If this continued slipping of the personal security in the capital of Israel is not stopped, we are likely to experience an expansion of the phenomenon into a general threat on all of the state of Israel," warned Barkat in his letter.

According to Barkat, the one to blame for the situation is none other than Interior Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich (Yisrael Beytenu).

"The police and commanders on the ground can't defeat (the threat) without significant backing and the giving of appropriate means to deal with this difficult challenge," wrote Barkat. "Unfortunately, the interior security minister isn't providing Jerusalem police with the needed means so that it can defeat the rioters."

Those means include a dramatic increase of Yassam special forces to deal with the riots, dispatching special forces on the "seam line" dividing Arab and Jewish majority neighborhoods, increasing the tactical intelligence array for Jerusalem police, and making punishment more severe in a combined action with the State Attorney.

In response to the charges, Aharonovich's office was in denial, saying "the minister's zero tolerance policy is clear to forces on the ground, and for evidence hundreds of arrests have been conducted in recent weeks, and there has been a dramatic drop in cases of rioting."

Aharonovich showed similar denial last Wednesday ahead of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana), when he claimed a "30% drop" in rock attacks and an "end" to firebomb attacks, even as explosions rocked the Temple Mount as Arab mobs assaulted and wounded police.

Barkat and Netanyahu are themselves partially culpable for the Jerusalem situation according to several sources, such as Jerusalem Councilman Arieh King, who charged them of giving illegal Arab construction the green light while passing massive building projects for Arab residents and freezing Jewish construction, in what King termed an attempt to cause a de facto division of the capital.


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