Israel begins easing some Jerusalem security measures
Israel has begun lifting some security measures in place over a wave of violence that raised fears of a full-scale Palestinian uprising, removing key roadblocks in annexed east Jerusalem, police said Thursday.
A number of checkpoints and roadblocks were dismantled in recent days, a police spokeswoman said, calling the decision a “direct result of the stabilisation of the security situation, which allows for this more lenient policy”.
The decision would allow a return to “normal life,” her statement added.
Roadblocks were installed in a number of locations in east Jerusalem last month after a wave of Palestinian stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks against Israelis began on October 1.
The area of Jabel Mukaber, from where a number of the attackers came, was largely blocked off by checkpoints. Some of these have been removed, the statement said.
Any deterioration in the relative calm of recent days, however, will lead the police to “use all means at its disposal against the terrorists who break the law and order,” the statement warned.
It said thousands of police were ready to respond at short notice.
Jerusalem was the scene of a spate of attacks at the beginning of October, but the epicentre of violence has since moved elsewhere, particularly the West Bank city of Hebron.
The latest stabbing in Jerusalem occurred Friday, after almost two weeks without an attack.
Nine Israelis, 69 Palestinians — around half of them alleged attackers — and an Israeli Arab have been killed since October 1 in attacks in Jerusalem, the West Bank and elsewhere.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.