Aryeh King
Aryeh KingIsrael National News

In the wake of the deadly terror attack on Saturday at the Shuafat checkpoint in Jerusalem, which left an IDF soldier dead and a security guard severely injured; Israel National News spoke with Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Aryeh King, about the security aspects of the complicated status of the residents of the city's outlying Arab neighborhoods of Shuafat and Kfar 'Aqab, who are entitled to free movement throughout Israel, yet many of which don't hide there nationalistic and terrorist ambitions.

King begins by clarifying "There is no difference between the residents of Kfar 'Aqab, 'Anata, or Shuafat and any resident of other neighborhoods in Jerusalem. They have the same rights and obligations, they pay property tax, income tax, and social security, and have freedom of movement in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Our problem is not those residents who live on the other side of the wall (which separates those neighborhoods from the rest of the city). They aren't the problem. The problem is that for decades, the state of Israel and the Israeli government has forsaken the land on the other side of the wall."

King states that today, as a result of Israel's neglect of those neighborhoods, the Palestinian Authority has taken over the work with its policemen. "The Israeli government isn't there although they pay taxes and social security."

Regarding the daily reality in those neighborhoods, King relates: "Weapons are a daily thing, the drug dealers work from there, and those who go there to buy from the dealers are Jews who then bring the drugs into the rest of Jerusalem. The car thieves also find a safe haven there. They park the stolen cars in those neighborhoods until they find someone to buy the spare parts. Everyone knows it, the police, the government, and the municipality, it comes up in discussions but nothing's ever done."

King says that those neighborhoods see daily shootings, according to him, no one cares, but those bullets land in the Jewish neighborhoods of the city. King insists that there is a need for deep cleansing of the neighborhoods, "You have to go house to house with search dogs and sapper to take the weapons out of them."

King emphasizes that he doesn't blame the police; "I salute the police, the special units, the border police, and the other forces that carry the burden. There aren't enough police officers on the job and those who are on the job make insulting salaries. Today there is no enforcement against crime in eastern Jerusalem. It makes no sense that a cop in Ashkelon or Eilat makes the same as someone who is on the front lines. A police officer in Shuafat or Armon Hanatziv meets more terrorists than an IDF soldier."

King adds that he walks freely through the streets of 'Anata, Shuafat, Kfar 'Aqab, and knows the residents and can safely say that "they want Israel to go in and enforce the law. Most of them want to live like the other residents of east Jerusalem. They oppose the weapons but are afraid that they'll be taken out if they speak up. They oppose the drug dealers who harm their children."