Yaakov Perry
Yaakov PerryFlash 90

Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Perry (Yesh Atid), formerly the head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), warned on Thursday that the situation in Jerusalem is a “ticking time bomb” which will lead to a full-fledged third intifada.

"We are witnessing a very serious escalation in Jerusalem," Perry told Army Radio, a day after a terrorist attack in the capital and as riots by Arabs continue. "This escalation is on the verge of becoming an intifada.”

So far, the constant riots by Arabs in and around the capital, which have included rock and firebomb attacks, have been called the “silent intifada”. Perry said, however, that the escalation has reached such proportions that it is on the cusp of becoming a popular uprising.

"I'm not releasing the political leadership from responsibility, including its attitude toward the police," Perry said in the interview. "We should have begun a massive reinforcement of the police, Border Police and the intelligence agencies in the earlier stages. We could have avoided the escalation.”

"We need to be honest with ourselves," he continued. “Attacks in Jerusalem took place also when things were relatively quieter, clashes on the Temple Mount have taken place in the past, but when we look at the whole picture, this present escalation is a very serious one and may explode.”

Perry’s comments came hours after top security officials claimed that talk of a third intifada is overblown.

According to these officials, despite the attack Wednesday in Jerusalem, terror was still “local,” and not part of an organized Palestinian campaign, as the intifadas in 1987 and 2000 were.

Wednesday's deadly attack took place one day after the police announced the formation of a new task force to combat ongoing violence in Jerusalem.