Monday, October 19, 2015

Security Cabinet Squabbles Over East Jerusalem Barrier

Barak Ravid,

Image from article, with caption: A Palestinian man stands next to a newly erected temporary concrete wall that measures around 10 meters, in Jerusalem's Jabel Mukaber neighborhood, October 18, 2015

Ministers blast placement of barriers as de facto division of Jerusalem; Netanyahu said looking into alternatives.

The security cabinet convened on Sunday to discuss the battle against incitement and efforts to outlaw the Islamic Movement. But the issues on the agenda were sidelines when an argument broke out between the ministers over an entirely different matter – photos of the mobile concrete wall erected in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber.  
As the meeting was taking places, first reports and images of the 10-meter barrier began appearing on television. After the prime minister and the ministers were briefed about the reports, the security cabinet ceased its discussion about Palestinian incitement and the Islamist Movement and began arguing about the movable concrete slabs.
According to a number of sources who were briefed about the meeting, ministers Yisrael Katz, Naftali Bennett and Ze'ev Elkin voiced severe criticism of the police and said the move would cause Israel's public diplomacy serious damage, creating the impression Israel is rescinding its sovereignty over Jerusalem's Palestinian neighborhoods, dividing the city de facto. Katz, Bennett and Elkin demanded to know why the cabinet was not informed of the move ahead of time. ...
After a few more minutes of arguments between the ministers, Netanyahu asked that aerial photographs of the areas in which the barriers were erected be brought it in to help the cabinet better understand the situation. After being further briefed on the issue, Netanyahu ordered an end to the barrier's placement and that alternative options be examined.

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