In response to two bombs within one week, Israeli leaders are
trying to strengthen security measures in and around
Jerusalem, and to compensate residents and businesses for the
The National Security Council has a plan for the capital
known as "Enveloping Jerusalem." Until now it has not been
seriously discussed, for budgetary and for political reasons:
The plan is very expensive, and some object that it is a
division of Jerusalem.
The plan, which was drafted jointly by NSC Chairman Major
General Uzi Dayan and Jerusalem Police Chief Mickey Levy,
calls for constructing a wall along 11 kilometers of the seam
line between East and West Jerusalem, setting up roadblocks
between the eastern and western parts of the city, installing
video cameras along the seam line, establishing five Border
Police companies to patrol the seam, and introducing
additional identification technologies such as thermal
sensors and night-vision equipment.
The police insist that the plan is not a redivision of the
capital, but merely a way of improving security in the
Prime Minister Sharon, Public Security Minister Uzi Landau
and Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert -- all of whom have reviewed
the proposal -- object to walls or fences that could be
interpreted as a repartition of the city.
Sharon, Landau and Olmert all prefer to focus efforts on
preventing terrorists from entering the city rather than on
keeping them from crossing from its eastern to its western
part. They argue that the danger is from outside the city,
not from its eastern neighborhoods.
On Monday, roadblocks were set up at the western entrance to
Jaffa Road, near the central bus station, and police
inspected each vehicle that passed through the checkpoint.
Mounted and foot patrols were also increased around the
eastern entrance to the street, near IDF Square. Finally,
patrols were increased in the center of town.
Police Commissioner Shlomo Aharonisky told the Foreign
Affairs Committee that within Israel in 2001, there had been
1,800 terror attacks in which 208 Israelis had been killed
and 1,600 had been wounded. In Jerusalem last year, the
police chief said, there had been 66 attacks that had
resulted in casualties, leaving 33 people dead and 513
wounded. Thirty-seven of these were bombings, and there were
Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert met on Monday with Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon and Finance Minister Silvan Shalom to discuss
ways of aiding downtown business owners who have been
financially hurt by the wave of terror attacks.
Olmert recommended that major tax breaks be given to them,
including discounts on property tax and an exemption from
value added tax. He also proposed the government provide
Jerusalem businesses with income tax reductions similar to
the ones Negev and Galilee residents receive.
Initial estimates show Sunday's terror attack damaged at
least 60 stores and 15 office buildings on and around Jaffa
Road, worth approximately NIS 10 million.
A protection plan for Jerusalem based on establishing
obstacles to the flow of people and vehicles into the city
from Palestinian areas, has been developed by Internal
Security Minister Uzi Landau. Landau said it is aimed at
making it difficult for [Palestinians] to reach the city from
Ramallah and Bethlehem.
Landau emphasized no fences or roadblocks would be
established within the capital. He noted police efforts in
Jerusalem are not only focused on combating terror, but also
on implementing sovereignty.
Landau said the goal must be to stop terrorists before they
cross the border. "A terrorist who has left Tulkarm or Nablus
is like a missile that has been shot off, and to stop him is
very difficult," he said.
He also warned of threats to population centers from tactical
weapons in the hands of the Palestinian Authority. "The
Kassam-2 and long-range mortars can certainly be a strategic
threat if they are situated on the Green Line," he said.
Opposition leader Yossi Sarid told Landau he lives in a
"virtual world." Sarid said the "terror infrastructure"
cannot be eliminated because the "infrastructure is the
suffering in the territories and the hatred the suffering