For the first time in decades, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the deployment of checkpoints at the entrance to East Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods.
The decision to impose greater security measures on the city’s Palestinian population came in the wake of Tuesday’s terrorist attack at a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, in which four men were killed and several others injured during morning prayers.
The two suspects, residents of the neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, were killed in a shootout with police outside the house of prayer.
The prime minister also instructed security forces to carry out raids on the homes of suspected terrorists in the city.
In addition, two more Border Police companies were to be assigned to the capital, which has already seen a significant increase in police presence over the past month.
The decisions came after Netanyahu met with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen, and legal and police officials at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, Channel 10 reported.
Under the new directives, police will conduct routine large-scale raids into problematic East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Police will be authorized to arrest those resisting the entry of law enforcers as well as demonstrators who verbally assault officers.
Security forces will also be increased throughout the West Bank.
Another plan under consideration is to order the positioning of security guards at public buildings, such as synagogues and places of entertainment.
Aharonovitch also advised pushing ahead with plans to destroy the homes of terrorists and also to prevent those who carry out attacks from being buried in the capital.
Earlier in the day, after Tuesday’s attack, Aharonovitch pledged to ease controls on carrying weapons for self-defense.
After a meeting called by Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, police raised the threat level to one notch below the highest designation. Danino also said that patrols around mosques, synagogues, and holy sites would be enhanced.
The four victims of the morning’s attack — Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59; Aryeh Kupinsky, 40; Rabbi Kalman Levine, 50; and Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68 — were laid to rest Tuesday in Jerusalem.