Israel sets up roadblocks in East Jerusalem to prevent terrorist attacks

The last two weeks have seen escalating violence by Palestinian terrorists in Jerusalem and other Israeli cities.  In response, the Israeli government has deployed the army to cities across the country and have now set up roadblocks near the East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood, where three terrorists who attacked innocent Israelis lived.


Israel's security cabinet had authorized the crackdown hours earlier in an overnight session after Palestinians armed with knives and a gun killed three Israelis and wounded several others on Tuesday.

Seven Israelis and 30 Palestinians, including children and assailants, have been killed in two weeks of bloodshed in Israel, Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

The violence has been partly triggered by Palestinians' anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, also revered by Jews as the site of two destroyed Jewish temples.

There is also deep-seated frustration with the failure of years of peace efforts to achieve Palestinian statehood and end Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Israeli paramilitary border police used their vehicles to block an exit at the edge of Jabel Mukabar, an East Jerusalem neighborhood and home to three Palestinians who carried out deadly attacks against Israelis on Tuesday.

Policemen carried out body searches and examined the identity papers of Palestinian motorists. Cars were then allowed to leave. Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem carry the same identity papers as Israelis and unlike brethren in the West Bank can travel throughout Israel.

Dimitrii Delliani, an official in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, said closing entrances to Palestinian neighborhoods was "collective punishment in violation of all international law".

"(Israeli) cabinet decisions will not stop the Intifada (uprising). People of resistance do not fear new security restrictions," Hussam Badrawn, a spokesman for the militant Hamas group in the West Bank said.

The government said the immediate aim was to stem stabbings and other attacks by Arab assailants, many of whom resided in Jerusalem's eastern sectors.

One Israeli official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity said Palestinian neighborhoods would not be sealed off completely, describing the measure as "loose encirclement".

The government of Prime Minister Netanyahu does not want to incite the Palestinians to greater levels of violence, but he has to take into account the security of vulnerable citizens.  "Loose encirclement" may sound like a half measure, given the ferocity of the attacks on Israeli citizens, but in truth, Netanyahu is trying to avoid a full-scale Intifada – the last one a decade ago being a nightmare for Israel.  The roadblocks would appear to be a prudent response to an escalating situation.

It's not surprising that Reuters would parrot the Palestinian line about the "deep-seated frustration with the failure of years of peace efforts to achieve Palestinian statehood and end Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem" as a proximate cause of the violence.  That's nonsense.  The vast majority of Palestinians have no desire for peace, and the only statehood they will accept is after the destruction of the Jewish state.  But the narrative must be maintained to assuage the delicate sensibilities of Western governments.

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