New barrier at Armon Hanatziv
New barrier at Armon Hanatziv Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90

Police on Sunday put up a temporary barrier to protect motorists passing through the Jewish Armon Hanatziv neighborhood from rocks thrown by Arabs from the adjoining Jabal Mukaber neighborhood. For weeks and months, the former has been the target of stone and firebomb-throwing Arabs, who emerge from the Arab side of the road and attack Jewish passersby.

The apex of the attacks came five days ago, when two Arabs tried to hijack a bus and went on a stabbing and shooting rampage that left two people dead and nearly 20 wounded.

The neighborhood has also been the site of several attempted stabbings. In one recent attack, a Border Police officer asked a youth from the neighborhood to identify himself. In response, the youth stabbed the Border Policeman, wounding him lightly.

The project was proposed by Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) and was unanimously approved Sunday morning at the cabinet meeting. The barriers have been placed along Meir Nakar Street in Armon Hanatziv, and will effectively divide the two neighborhoods.

Government officials said that the barrier was temporary and would be removed when the situation warranted it. They also said that the placing of the barrier should not be taken in any way as a sign that the government plans to “divide Jerusalem,” or abdicate Israeli sovereignty over Jabal Mukaber or any other part of the city.