Israeli cabinet approves sealing off Jerusalem's Arab sector

Israeli cabinet authorises police to seal off Arab sectors of Jerusalem amid increasing violence

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Israeli paramilitary police officers walk near the scene of a stabbing in Jerusalem October 12, 2015.

Updated Oct 14, 2015

A statement released by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office has said that the Israeli cabinet has authorised the police to seal off Arab sectors of East Jerusalem after increasing cases of random attacks between Jews and Arabs.

"The security cabinet decided several measures to combat terrorism, notably authorising police to seal off or impose a curfew on parts of Jerusalem in case of friction or incitement to violence," the statement released early on Wednesday said.

The decision comes after Netanyahu called an emergency cabinet session on Tuesday to deal with the recent surge in violence.

At least seven Israelis and 29 Palestinians have been killed in recent weeks. Ten of the Palestinians killed reportedly died while carrying out attacks.

Incidents have been increasing since Israeli police carried out a raid on the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, one of the holiest places in Islam, last month to prevent possible protests against Jews who entering the grounds to perform rituals.

As a result of the raid, a number of Palestinian worshippers were injured and Palestinian access to the compound was restricted.

Palestinians are also growing increasingly frustrated over the peace process, which has so far failed to realise a two-state solution.

It has been 18 months since peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians stalled when the Israeli side left the negotiations table in protest against the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority declaring a joint government with the Gaza-based Hamas movement, which Israel considers a terrorist organisation.

The joint government was declared after Israel failed to cease the building of illegal settlements in occupied territories of the West Bank.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced his plans to visit the region “at some point appropriately” to calm the situation.

TRTWorld and agencies