Israeli Mayor Wants Fence to Split Jerusalem, Abu Dis

Published May 29th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The possibility of erecting a security fence to separate the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem and the towns of Abu Dis and Azzariye, slated for transfer to the Palestinian Authority, is being considered as a way to prevent the violent clashes between Palestinians and Israel Defense Forces soldiers seen two weeks ago, according to Haaretz Monday. 

The government has delayed handing over the villages until it is certain that there will be no repetition of the demonstrations organized by the PA.  

The Jerusalem Forum, made up of the minister for Jerusalem affairs, the public security minister, the Jerusalem mayor, and representatives of security bodies and various government ministries, met Sunday, said the Israeli daily. Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert raised the idea of putting up a fence between Jerusalem and Abu Dis and Azzariye, if and when they are handed over to the PA. Olmert was quoted as saying that in light of the events two weeks ago when PA officers fired live ammunition on Israeli soldiers, a security fence is vital. 

The report said also Olmert also wants the Ras al Amud crossing to be moved to the Abu Dis junction, on the city's municipal border, so as to implement Prime Minister Ehud Barak's much talked about policy of separation. 

Jerusalem district police commander Commissioner Yair Yitzhaki asked whether Israeli forces would be deployed along the fence, or police officers, said the paper. He also requested that clear instructions be given to police in light of the possibility that Jerusalem may become the state's border with the PA. 

Defense establishment sources have expressed their concern in recent days that the lack of any tangible division between PA autonomous areas and Jerusalem will allow Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to realize his goal and increase his influence over areas in the east of the city.  

An Israeli military spokesman Sunday refused to comment on information obtained by Ha'aretz which stated that Central Region Commander Moshe Ya'alon supports the idea of a fence, or an alternative form of partition, between Jerusalem and the border Palestinian villages, and instead directed Ha'aretz to the Prime Minister's Office. A spokesman there said that the prime minister had not yet received information on the matter, thus no decision could be taken, said Haaretz – Albawaba.com 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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