Gilad Erdan, Dudi Amsalem at Interior Committee (file)
Gilad Erdan, Dudi Amsalem at Interior Committee (file)Isaac Harari/Flash 90

The Knesset's Interior Committee held a session on Monday afternoon to discuss the deteriorating security situation in Jerusalem, just hours after an Arab terrorist was shot in the capital's Old City as he attempted to stab a security guard.

The Committee meeting was opened by statements from its chair, MK Dudi Amsalem (Likud), who noted that he had initiated the meeting several months ago although it was postponed at the request of Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud). 

"There's no security in Jerusalem," began Amsalem, who recounted the seemingly unending list of stabbings, rock and firebomb throwing and general rioting being conducted by Arab terrorists in and around the capital in recent months - and particularly in recent weeks.

Erdan said of the situation in Jerusalem: "We're at the height of a campaign, the height of a terror wave; at the front stand Israel police officers and innocent civilians."

"The enforcement in Jerusalem in recent years was an enforcement that contained violent incidents in Jerusalem, and did not initiate. In eastern Jerusalem two police stations were dismantled," noted Erdan.

Turning his attention to the Temple Mount, where the Jordanian Waqf continues to enjoy de facto control and bans Jewish prayer despite Israeli laws ensuring freedom of worship, Erdan spoke about the Arab rioting that is common at the site.

The minister said that if a change of any sort occurs in the situation at the Temple Mount, it occurs to the detriment of Jewish visitors only, in a call to both maintain the status quo and a warning against the discrimination at the site.

Police chief Bentzi Sau also spoke at the meeting, and said that "in incidents of rock throwing it is permitted and expected that officers shoot with live fire according to their discretion."

He also condemned how Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount had been turned into a terror base by Arab rioters on numerous occasions to hurl rocks and explosives at the police.