Security officials vow to up efforts amid escalating violence
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Security officials vow to up efforts amid escalating violence

Top cop: Jerusalem police reinforcements could remain in the capital for months

Raoul Wootliff is the The Times of Israel's political correspondent.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkott during a visit to the West Bank following recent terror attacks, October 6, 2015. (Photo by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkott during a visit to the West Bank following recent terror attacks, October 6, 2015. (Photo by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Additional forces brought to the capital in recent days to quell unrest could remain there for months to come, the acting police chief said Tuesday, as violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank persisted.

“The police reinforcements in Jerusalem will continue until at least the end of October, and I believe that they will stay for the coming months,” Bentzy Sau said.

Sau told reporters that police were not just increasing the presence of officers in the city, which has been bolstered to some 2,000 people, but also changing tactics to crack down on ongoing violence.

“We are increasing the use of force in Palestinian neighborhoods. We are intensifying activity in all villages and deep into Arab neighborhoods rather than waiting on the sidelines.”

Sau said over 240 Jerusalem arrests had been made in the past month, and added that deaths were actually down compared to a year earlier.

As unrest continues in Jerusalem, police reported a man was lightly injured Tuesday morning in a rock-throwing attack in the neighborhood of Har Hotzvim.

Visiting the site of Thursday’s terror attack in which Eitam and Naama Henkin were killed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters on Tuesday the country’s top security echelon has decided to “significantly increase active protection” on Israel’s streets. “There are very important steps that IDF and security forces are already implementing.”

Netanyahu also spoke of “new technological means” to secure Israeli citizens, acknowledging that this takes some time. “I hope to reduce this time,” he promised. “The intention is to use all means available to the State of Israel — it’s a very powerful nation in terms of its army, its security forces and its technology — to increase significantly its security on the streets.”

Earlier Tuesday, IDF forces clashed with protesters in several West Bank locations.

Video footage showed violent skirmishes in the city of Nablus. IDF jeeps were pelted with rocks as they tried to pass a makeshift blockade set on fire by protesters.

Security forces also reported clashes at the Qalandia checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Hundreds of protesters threw rocks at IDF forces who dispersed the crowd using tear gas.

The outbreaks come a day after a Palestinian youth was killed during violent clashes with Israel Defense Forces troops in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of East Jerusalem Monday night.

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