World Bulletin/News Desk
The Israeli government is mulling a plan to enhance its police force in Jerusalem where tension has mounted recently between Palestinian residents and Israeli security forces, according to Israeli daily Haaretz.
According to the Israeli paper, the plan was initiated by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch following the kidnap and murder of Mohamed Abu Khdeer – a Palestinian youth from East Jerusalem's Shuafat district – by Jewish settlers in July.
The report said the plan would cost between $154 million and $179 million and would entail the hiring of an additional 1,160 police officers and the building of two new police stations in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan and Isawiya.
An additional police facility will be built near the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, it added, noting that the scheme also involved the establishment of a joint intelligence team including the police, Israel's Shin Bet internal security agency, and the army.
According to Haaretz, the plan will be implemented in three stages, the first to take place immediately, the second after six months, and the third after one year.
Tension has run high in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since late October, when Israel briefly closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound after an extremist rabbi was injured in a drive-by shooting in West Jerusalem.
Unrest mounted further in the occupied city when Israeli forces killed a young Palestinian man – in a raid on his East Jerusalem home – who had been suspected of shooting the rabbi.
Since then, several Israelis have been killed and injured in a spate of separate attacks by Palestinians – both inside Israel and in the occupied territories.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.
Quoting unnamed intelligence officials, Haaretz said that Israeli security agencies were expecting "terrorist attacks" involving Palestinians from East Jerusalem to continue, especially "lone wolf" attacks by individuals.
The use of firebombs against Israeli targets and police in the holy city is also expected to increase, the paper reported.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Ocak 2015, 17:07