Clash over anti-terror measures


Israel's political and security establishments are at loggerheads over the best way to confront the recent wave of terror attacks.

As ministers and right-wing politicians have called for more severe measures, the security chiefs have warned that "collective punishment" will not deter further attacks and only serve to further alienate the Palestinian population.

So far, the demands of some politicians to cancel work permits for over 40,000 West Bank Palestinians and deploy IDF units to East Jerusalem have not been implemented.

At the same time, the government is planning a new law to strip residency rights from East Jerusalem Palestinians charged with terror-related activities.

The Internal Security Ministry is also working to outlaw the unofficial "Murabitoun" guards on the Temple Mount, who are financed by radical Islamist movements in Israel and organise protests against the entrance of Jews to the compound. On Friday, unrestricted Muslim prayers were allowed on Temple Mount for the second weekend running, without any serious disturbance.

While there have been no major terror incidents since the attack on the Jerusalem synagogue last Tuesday in which five Israelis were killed, low-level violence has continued in the capital. On Monday night, two yeshivah students were attacked in the Old City, suffering moderate injuries. On Saturday night, a civilian was wounded when an explosive device was thrown at a police vehicle in the Shuafat neighbourhood.

The police are refusing to return the bodies of the two synagogue murderers, Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, to their families for burial in another attempt at deterring further attacks. The families of the two cousins in the Jerusalem village of Jabel Mukaber have been told homes will be demolished, although it is unclear when this will be carried out.

Meanwhile, in another attempt to decrease tension, police chiefs have been trying to convince MKs not to visit Temple Mount. Police commissioner Yochanan Danino said on Tuesday: "We have been warning and saying all the time, leave Temple Mount alone."

● Naief al-Hattab, director of UNRWA's Zaitoun Elementary School in Gaza, congratulated the Jerusalem shul terrorists on their "wonderful revenge" on his Facebook page. Al-Hattab was photographed shaking hands with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on his visit to Gaza in October.

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