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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region
Chapter 3: The Security Significance of a Division

Chapter 3: The Security Significance of a Division

The tremendous efforts that have been required of the state of Israel to keep Jerusalem united and maintain its Jewish majority have been aimed at realizing the Jewish people’s historical and religious right to the city. At the same time, from the practical standpoint, on which this work concentrates, an effort must be made to address the demographic problem – not through a division – so as to forestall the real security danger to Jerusalem that would result from its division. This chapter deals with that danger.

A. Basic Assumptions

An Open City

Basic agreement about removing Arab neighborhoods from Jerusalem, that is, about dividing it, emerged in Israeli-Palestinian talks both in 2001 under the Barak government and in 2007 under the Olmert government. However, the nature of the border between the two parts of the city was a bone of contention:

The Palestinian side expressed support for the regime of an open city, without an internal physical border between the two capitals, and for the creation of an envelope of checkpoints and a network of passageways around the entire city. The Israeli side opposed this and demanded a clear and definite physical border within the city, with a possibility of an “open city” at the boundaries of the Old City or the Holy Basin.1

The main consideration on the Israeli side, which was prepared for a division but demanded a clear-cut border, was the security issue and the desire to ensure the safety of the Jewish citizens. The main consideration on the Palestinian side, which agreed to a division but asked to maintain an open city, was the desire to retain the economic advantages of an open city for the Palestinian residents, while also establishing Palestinian sovereignty in the eastern part of the city and making Jerusalem the capital of Palestine. Along with those two possibilities – a definite border or an open city – others were raised, such as a supervised border with free passage only for pedestrians, or a combined border: open within the city and closed outside of it. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who mediated between the sides in 2001, favored the idea of an open and “breathing” city. Many on the Israeli left also supported versions of a separation, involving, on the one hand, a division of powers and sovereignty, and on the other, the drawing of a border that would be open to Jews and Arabs, without a physical separation or enclosures to divide the two populations.

A wall in the heart of a city. Jaffa Road in downtown Jerusalem was divided by a wall for a 19-year span—1948-1967. From time to time Jordanian Legionnaires sniped at Jewish residents. (Courtesy of the Municipal Archives of Jerusalem)
A wall in the heart of a city. Jaffa Road in downtown Jerusalem was divided by a wall for a 19-year span—1948-1967. From time to time Jordanian Legionnaires sniped at Jewish residents. (Courtesy of the Municipal Archives of Jerusalem)

Thus, the first basic assumption of this work is that, as in most of the versions of “separation,” those favoring a division would prefer a division of authority and sovereignty while establishing a border that is open to Jews and Arabs.

The Jurisdictional Boundary Will Become the Border of the Country

The jurisdictional boundary of Jerusalem, whether or not there is a division and a “separation” from Arab neighborhoods, will also become the state of Israel’s border with the Palestinian Authority, or the Palestinian state, unlike in the current situation where the border is more outlying.

From 1948 to 1967 the city, before being unified, was divided by walls, wire fences, and signs like this one, which says “Danger! Enemy Territory Ahead! No Entry!” In the picture: a view from west Jerusalem into east Jerusalem, July 1951. (Government Press Office)
From 1948 to 1967 the city, before being unified, was divided by walls, wire fences, and signs like this one, which says “Danger! Enemy Territory Ahead! No Entry!” In the picture: a view from west Jerusalem into east Jerusalem, July 1951. (Government Press Office)

The Arabs Will Again Migrate to the Israeli Side

In light of past experience, it is inevitable that the establishment and implementation of a line of division – even if it is supposedly an open border – will bring into the Jewish part of the city Palestinian residents who will want to live there. These Palestinians will fear the loss of rights, benefits, and freedoms that are granted them today because of their status as residents and because they live within the sovereign territory of the state of Israel. These residents (as noted above) are entitled, based on their status as residents, to move and live within the boundaries of the western part of the city and also within Israeli territory in general.

As we saw, in recent years with the building of the fence along the “Jerusalem envelope,” tens of thousands of Palestinians have relocated to the “Israeli side” of the fence. A similar migration pattern could occur before, during, and after the drawing of a line of “separation” or division. Such migration has security, not only demographic, implications. Today, there is already a “trickle” of Arab families moving into Jewish neighborhoods in areas that abut Arab neighborhoods. The phenomenon exists in the Jewish neighborhoods of Tzameret Habira, French Hill, Neve Yaakov, Pisgat Ze’ev, and Armon Hanatziv. According to 2010 data of the Central Bureau of Statistics, some 3,378 Arabs without Israeli citizenship but with resident status were living in Jewish-majority neighborhoods in Jerusalem, while only 2,537 Jews live in Arab-majority neighborhoods of the city.2

“A Terror-Supporting Entity”

Since the signing of the Oslo, Cairo, Wye, and Hebron agreements, and since the “disengagement,” not a few territories have been transferred to the security and/or civilian control of the Palestinian Authority. Along with periods of limited security cooperation, Israel has suffered repeated disappointments when it comes to the PA’s honoring of agreements. The most painful and bitter disappointments concern the security sphere. To this day Israel has not been able to get the PA to fully uphold its security commitments to Israel. During the Second Intifada, not only did the PA not prevent terror attacks, the organizing of terror, and Qassam-rocket fire, but at many points the PA, or elements within it, were partners to terror attacks and warfare against Israel.3 The Israeli government even took a formal decision to declare the PA a “terror-supporting entity.” The government also declared that the Tanzim and Force 17, which were controlled by Yasser Arafat, were terror organizations.4 During October and November 2000 Tanzim operatives set up the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which was intended to serve as Fatah’s military wing and carry out terror attacks against Israel. Israeli security officials determined that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades was actually an inclusive term for terror organizations comprised of Fatah operatives that took public responsibility for terror attacks. The Brigades functioned as a network of underground cells, and their main strongholds were in the West Bank cities and nearby refugee camps. Often members of the PA security forces were among the Brigades’ commanders and operatives. In March 2002, after a suicide bombing the Brigades perpetrated in Jerusalem, the U.S. State Department added it to its list of foreign terror organizations. It marked the first time the Bush administration had taken such a measure against a group directly linked to the PA chairman.5

Over the years, even in periods of limited security cooperation with Israel, the PA has glorified terror and suicide bombers while failing to act against extreme incitement within its territory, which denies both Israel’s legitimacy as the state of the Jewish people and its existence.6  The glorification of terror and overt expressions of sympathy for Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror attacks in daily life, the media, academia, government, and among PA clerics were constant, and have been officially documented by Israel; the records take up entire folders and shelves. Thorough documentation of these phenomena is available to all on the Palestinian Media Watch website.

There Is No “Responsible Neighbor”

Even when the PA’s security mechanisms showed readiness to act against the attacks and stop terror and shooting at Israel – and there were also such periods – it was done only partially. Sometimes the reason was a lack of operational capacity, but mostly it stemmed from internal factors: a desire to maintain a relationship with the opposition organizations, especially Hamas, and to preserve minimal internal unity among the Palestinians. In 2007, for example, after several shooting attacks on Israelis by members of the PA security mechanisms (for example, the murder of Ido Zoldan, a resident of Shavei Shomron), Ashraf al-Ajrami, the PA’s minister of prisoner affairs, declared that “the PA does not control some of the Palestinian policemen.”7 As noted, however, usually the problem was not a lack of control but of desire, or only a partial desire.

In January 2014, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon described how the PA does and does not cooperate with Israel in the security sphere. “From a security standpoint the Palestinian Authority is not a responsible neighbor that Israel can rely on,” Yaalon said. He added: “Last year the PA arrested more than a thousand Hamas members on the West Bank, but not one of them was put on trial.”8 Brigadier General (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of the Research Division of Military Intelligence and former director-general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, further clarified the reality when he said:

Although the PA fights terror on the West Bank, we ourselves do most of the work because nothing has changed in the Palestinians’ basic view that terror is legitimate. At the same time, it is not at the top of their concerns at the moment. Unlike Arafat, who saw terror as a legitimate activity, Abu Mazen [i.e., Mahmoud Abbas] thinks terror, such as suicide bombings, is of no benefit. He appreciates those who engage in it but thinks it is of no benefit.

After Operation Defensive Shield, Kuperwasser emphasized: “The Palestinian mechanisms were relieved of responsibility for security in Area A, and we took the responsibility. We had no choice because the situation at the time enabled Palestinian terrorists to operate in Area A without fear.”9

Allegiance to Historical Palestine

There is no assurance that establishing a Palestinian state would change these tendencies like a magic wand. For example, at present the Palestinian education system, media, shapers of culture, and opponents of an agreement doggedly cultivate – and may well continue to in the future – the ethos of return.10 Even after Mahmoud Abbas’s much-touted interview to Israel’s Channel 2 Television in 2012, in which he said he would want to visit Safed, the city where he was born, but not live there because it is part of Israel, he hastened to retract his words. Abbas then clarified that he had expressed a personal attitude but had not ceded the Palestinian people’s right of return. Both Abbas and his associates tried to explain that his words had been taken out of context and presented only in part. Abbas’s spokesman also said that a Palestinian interview is not the same as negotiations and that it was aimed at influencing Israeli public opinion.11 Even if one assumes that Abbas retracted his statement because of the criticism, it raises questions: if Abbas or others in the PA were given a demand to give up the “right of return” in Jerusalem, how would they withstand the pressures of many elements among the Palestinians who would not give up this right?

Those elements are not a negligible minority, or even a large minority. Sometimes they constitute a considerable majority. Public opinion surveys in Gaza and the West Bank show that a large majority of the Palestinians there oppose Israel’s existence and aspire to replace it with a Palestinian state. Only about one-third of the Palestinians are prepared to give up some of their demands “so that our people and our children will have a better life.” A survey conducted in the West Bank and Gaza by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in June 2014 found that 68.4 percent of Gaza Palestinians and 55.4 percent of West Bank Palestinians thought the Palestinians’ primary national objective over the next five years should be “activity to regain historical Palestine from the Jordan to the sea.”

When the interviewees were presented with two additional options concerning what they should do if the Palestinian leadership were to reach an agreement with Israel on a two-state solution, 62.5 percent said such an agreement would have to be “part of the Phased Plan,” which aims to liberate all of historical Palestine, while only 27.2 percent said such an agreement should be the final Palestinian goal.12

The Right of Return in Stages

The Palestinians do not speak of the right of return in Jerusalem as merely a theoretical issue. The Palestinian discourse deals specifically with extensive property in west Jerusalem, with homes and lands that before 1948 were under Arab ownership. The Palestinians, including Abbas, are yet to relinquish this property. As part of a special project conducted at Orient House in east Jerusalem during the 1980s and 1990s, they have even documented it, photographed it, and prepared orderly lists. The number of buildings in question comes to 7,000.13 Some of them are well known to any Jerusalemite: the Palace Hotel on Agron Street, the Sansour Building on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall, the Salma Villa in Kfar Wingate, or houses in the Old Katamon and Baka neighborhoods. According to Halil Tafkaji, who headed the Office of Mapping and Geography of the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem (which was located in Orient House), over 70 percent of west Jerusalem lands were under Arab ownership before 1948.14

An incident in Jordan in the summer of 1999 further signified that the Palestinians have not given up “Arab property” in west Jerusalem. In August that year, an organization called the Council of the Jerusalem Bodies in Jordan was founded in the kingdom to represent all former residents of Jerusalem who live in Amman, the Jordanian capital. During the inauguration of the council, a “pact of honor” was presented that was signed by thousands who said they were former residents of Jerusalem. One of the articles of the pact states that “the Jerusalemites adhere to the right of return to Jerusalem and its suburbs and to opposition to bargaining over this right.” Another article of the pact speaks of “complete rejection of the ruse of compensations for the property, instead of return.”15 Although this is not an official body, its existence is consistent with past declarations by representatives of Jerusalem in the Palestinian parliament, such as Abdel-Kader Eid and other PA spokesmen.

Moreover, many of the Palestinians not only uphold the “right of return.” They have not even accepted the possibility that the large Jewish neighborhoods built in Jerusalem since 1967 will not be evacuated and transferred to their hands, or the possibility of “ceding” the Western Wall.16 In 2007, for example, a survey of West Bank Palestinians by Dr. Elias Kochali found that a 69.2 percent majority opposed any concession of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland, or limiting the right to the West Bank and Gaza. Only 23.5 percent accepted the idea of creating a compensation fund and absorbing the refugees within the future Palestinian state. Some 72.5 percent opposed applying Israeli sovereignty to the Western Wall in any peace settlement, and only 18.7 percent said they would support such a settlement.17

These realities mean we must ask ourselves a question, one that directly concerns the issue of daily security in Jerusalem: if, in the future, the leadership of the Palestinian state seeks more than a sovereign, independent state whose capital is east Jerusalem, and, even after that achievement, keeps pursuing the Phased Plan, what risks would be entailed for Israel, in general, and in a divided Jerusalem, in particular?

So far the opposition organizations, as well as elements within the PA, have not given up the Phased Plan.18 Some of them make Israel’s legitimacy conditional on the existence of a Palestinian state in line with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 of 1947 – the “partition resolution” – thereby claiming a “right of return” to places such as Beersheba, Lod, Acre, or Ramle. In other words, abutting divided Jerusalem would be an “unsatisfied state” that would use all possible means, including terror, to become “satisfied.”19

In an attempt to implement the right of return in Jerusalem as well, the Palestinians prepared a list of 7,000 buildings that were under Arab ownership before 1948. Above, from top to bottom, appear three of these buildings: the Sansour Building in Zion Square, the Palace Hotel building on Agron Street, and Villa Salameh in the heart of the Talbiyeh neighborhood. (Photographs: Ariel Shragai)
In an attempt to implement the right of return in Jerusalem as well, the Palestinians prepared a list of 7,000 buildings that were under Arab ownership before 1948. Above, from top to bottom, appear three of these buildings: the Sansour Building in Zion Square, the Palace Hotel building on Agron Street, and Villa Salameh in the heart of the Talbiyeh neighborhood. (Photographs: Ariel Shragai)

The Strengthening of Hamas and Support for Terror

Even if a credible partner should be established beside Israel, trustworthy and with a proven ability to implement commitments, Israel would have to include adequate security precautions – for a “rainy day” – in any arrangement for Jerusalem, taking into account that the reality could change again. Hamas has already taken over Gaza and has attempted to set up terror infrastructures in the West Bank and carry out a coup there as well.

Even Abbas, now identified as the moderate Palestinian leader, has said in the past that he does not rule out returning to armed struggle against Israel.20 Thus Abbas’s position – currently opposed to attacks, but previously not having rejected armed struggle in “further stages” – is unclear. A 2012 survey by Dr. Khalil Shikaki of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that, if elections had then been held for the PA presidency, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would have defeated Abbas by 48 percent to 42 percent.21

In September 2014 another survey by the same organization found that at that time Haniyeh would have defeated Abbas by a larger majority, this time reaching 61 percent.22

The Palestinian population’s support for Hamas and for terror is evident in declarations by Hamas’s spokesmen, in its platform and numerous publications, but also in repeated surveys of the Palestinians, even after particularly horrific terror attacks. A survey published in the New York Times in March 2008 showed that an overwhelming majority of PA citizens – 84 percent – approved of the terror attack on the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, in which eight high school students were murdered.23 A 2009 survey by the Hebrew University’s Harry S Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, in cooperation with the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, found that 54 percent of the Palestinians supported terror attacks.24 In March 2011, 32 percent of the Palestinians expressed support for the murder of five members of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar.25 The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 80 percent of the Palestinians supported terror attacks in Jerusalem during the 2014 “Jerusalem Intifada.”26 Those attacks included the massacre at the synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood in November 2014.

Expert Testimony

The ambiguity, casuistry, and deception entailed in the “moderate” Palestinian stance, which requires our great caution, particularly on the Jerusalem issue, was well summed up by Brig.-Gen. (res.) Kuperwasser. He made his statements from a special setting: the witness stand of the Jerusalem District Court. In January 2013, in the framework of a lawsuit filed by families who had been bereaved by Palestinian terror, which was arbitrated by Judge Moshe Drori, Kuperwasser gave his testimony against the PA. The families wanted the court to recognize its responsibility for these attacks. Kuperwasser’s testimony focused on the period of the Second Intifada, the PA’s abetting and involvement in it, and on background factors that persist – as he noted – to this day and concern the PA’s real intentions regarding Israel and its future.

The words that Kuperwasser spoke there fill hundreds of pages. Here I will only quote my summation of them as part of an article I wrote for Israel Hayom.27 The passages are taken from Kuperwasser’s opinion that was submitted in writing to the court, which covers 71 pages, and from the protocol of his testimony to the court, which lasted for two days:

“The intifada,” Kuperwasser said there, “was driven by a decision of the leaders of the Palestinian Authority. They ran, directed, and used it for their purposes and with their typical methods so as to fulfill goals they had set previously. The decline in the extent of the terror and in the severity of the terror attacks…was achieved solely through the activity of the Israeli security forces.”

Kuperwasser was asked during the proceedings whether in his opinion it would have been possible to prevent the emergence of the armed Palestinian option if real relations of trust had prevailed between the PA and Israel. He explained that the PA had not built its relationship with Israel “on the basis of a real intention to reach a settlement,” and instead “continued,” he said, “to adhere to the idea that the purpose of the talks and of the process is to reap the fruits of the terror it had waged previously.” In his view, “the PA wanted to attain a situation in which it would receive a state in all of the 1967 territories, without giving up the idea that eventually it would be able to turn Israel into a non-Jewish state.”

Judge Moshe Drori had trouble understanding: “Why did the word ‘non-Jewish’ pop up?” Kuperwasser explained: “I was asked about ‘trust’…Rabin refused to sign the agreement because he had a degree of distrust toward Arafat.”

“Arafat,” Kuperwasser noted, “sent Rabin a letter in which he recognized Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and based on this letter, which Rabin saw as a confidence-building letter, Rabin signed the agreement as an opening to talks that would lead to peace…. Right after that, over time, it turned out that the Palestinian Authority did not intend…Arafat saw every agreement as the ‘Hudayba agreement,’ that is, an agreement one has no intention of honoring…. In the letter to Rabin, Arafat played a trick…and at first Rabin simply didn’t understand that…. Arafat said: I recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security, whereas his intention was – so long as it is not a Jewish state. This game involving Israel and the Jewish state is a game the Palestinians have been playing up to the present.”

Attorney Arnon (who represented the PA in the proceedings) asked: “From where are your intelligence sources?”

Kuperwasser: “From countless publications of the Palestinians themselves, openly available.”

Attorney Arnon: “Is this your personal interpretation?”

Kuperwasser: “No. This is the interpretation of all the leaders of the Palestinians.”

Arnon questioned further, but Kuperwasser insisted: “Whereas the Israeli side comes to these talks with a real interest in promoting peace, the Palestinians have not given up terror…have not given up the aim of eventually reaching the strategic goal, which is the eradication of Zionism. This strategic goal has not been repudiated at any point in time.”

Judge Drori noted to Kuperwasser that notwithstanding his statements, from time to time the Palestinians make use of the expression “two states for two peoples,” though they do not renounce the “right of return.” He wondered how this fact comports with his thesis.

Kuperwasser explained: “Arafat along with the Palestinian leadership were prepared for a settlement that they see as an interim settlement. This is the Phased Plan, where in the framework of an interim settlement a Palestinian state is established beside the State of Israel, as an interim stage, on the ’67 borders, and only if a solution is also presented that will satisfy the Palestinians with regard to the right of return…. This is the Palestinian concept, which, by the way, also exists today. They are not against a settlement. They are in favor of a settlement that meets these conditions…. They are in favor of a settlement that is based on a two-state solution, but only if it is not two states for two peoples, because they do not at all recognize the existence of the Jewish people.”

The judge: “Then when they say two-states-for-two-peoples solution, that is not right? They don’t say that?”

Kuperwasser: “No, they fiercely oppose it.”

The judge: “They don’t use the expression?”

Kuperwasser: “No. The Arabs talk about two states…. When in rare cases they add ‘for two peoples,’ that is when they are pushed into a corner and they make clear: the Palestinian people and the Israeli people. They have a new people, which is called the Israeli people, because they do not recognize the Jewish people. Israel, from their standpoint, can be a state of all its citizens. All its citizens are Israelis, and therefore as a state of all its citizens, but not as the state of the Jewish people.”

The advocate for the PA, Attorney Arnon: “…peace is made on the basis of the Oslo plan. Not on the basis of the Phased Plan.”

Kuperwasser: “The Oslo plan does not contradict the Phased Plan. It is simply its first phase.”

The judge: “How do you, as the person responsible for intelligence assessments, understand the Phased Plan?”

Kuperwasser: “The Palestinians are committed to this doctrine.”

The judge: “And what does it say?”

Kuperwasser: “That one may establish a Palestinian state on any piece of historical Palestine that is liberated…without giving up the hope and the continued striving for the establishment of a Palestinian state in all of Palestine.”

The judge: “On all of it? In place of the State of Israel?”

Kuperwasser: “In place of the State of Israel…and so, the Palestinians also seek to return to Haifa, to Jaffa, to Lod, to Ramle, to Ashkelon and everywhere else in today’s Israel.”

Attorney Arnon (PA): “The Oslo agreement, which recognizes the right of the State of Israel, does not change your mind at all?”

Kuperwasser: “It does not change the Palestinians’ minds at all, either. It’s not just me.”

* * *

Thus, a division of Jerusalem – at a time when a large proportion of the Palestinians have not given up the “right of return,” support terror, and view agreements with Israel as only an initial stage of conquering additional land through terror – would be an extraordinarily dangerous and irresponsible act. That is even more the case in light of past experience, regarding both statements and intentions of the Palestinians and reality on the ground, particularly of late in Jerusalem where the status of Fatah, the movement led by PA Chairman Abbas, has weakened significantly. Its role as the dominant actor has been taken by two movements, Hamas and Hizb ut-Tahrir, that are explicitly jihadist. Whereas Hamas, which is particularly strong in southern Jerusalem neighborhoods, views jihad as an immediate duty for each individual, Hizb ut-Tahrir regards jihad as a national duty to be enacted only after a Muslim caliphate is established. Along with those two, the northern branch of the Israeli Islamic Movement continues to operate in Jerusalem and particularly on the Temple Mount, and it, too, has been bolstering its status in the city. The years 2013 and 2014 also saw the beginnings of Al-Qaeda and Islamic Jihad activity in Jerusalem.

There are many reasons for this radicalization, and exploring them would take us too far afield. It should be noted, though, that the building of the separation fence was one factor that contributed to the decline of Fatah’s stock and the rise of that of the radical organizations, and thus also contributed to the pronounced radical and religious nature of the terror and violence in Jerusalem in the second half of 2014, with the uproar on the Temple Mount as the focal point. Thus, along with a trend among the east Jerusalem Arabs of “Israelization” and growing affinity with the Israeli Arabs, which I will discuss later, religious-Palestinian-Muslim extreme nationalism is on the upswing and would make dividing Jerusalem all the more perilous.28

B. Jerusalem as a Preferred Target for Terror

Jerusalem – as a symbol and a focal point of national and religious conflict between Jews and Arabs – has been a preferred target for terror attacks since 1967.29 Since the Six‑Day War, hundreds of terror attacks have occurred in the city that have killed or injured thousands of Israeli citizens, the overwhelming majority of them Jews. Over the past decade and a half, two waves of violence and terror that concentrated on Jerusalem have been the “Jerusalem Intifada” and the Second Intifada, which was launched at the start of the 2000s and lasted several years.

The “Jerusalem Intifada”30

In the “Jerusalem Intifada” (July-November 2014), the war of stones, firebombs, firecrackers, arson, and severe incitement was also accompanied by real terror attacks: vehicle rammings, stabbings, and shootings. The second half of 2014 saw over 10,000 incidents of attacks against Jews in the city with the former weapons, and dozens of attacks with the latter kinds. Ten Israelis were murdered. Dozens were wounded. Most of the violent incidents initiated by the Palestinians occurred along the seam line and in mixed areas.

A light-rail stop on fire, July 2014. Rioters of the “Jerusalem Intifada” chose to attack and damage a symbol of coexistence that serves both populations – the light rail. (Sliman Khader, Flash 90)
A light-rail stop on fire, July 2014. Rioters of the “Jerusalem Intifada” chose to attack and damage a symbol of coexistence that serves both populations – the light rail. (Sliman Khader, Flash 90)

In the second half of 2014, Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus and the light rail, whose route passes through the Arab neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina in northern Jerusalem, were attacked repeatedly with stones and firebombs. At the height of the attacks on the light rail, passengers’ movement was much reduced especially in northern Jerusalem, and only 15 out of 23 trains continued to operate. At the end of August the newspaper Yediot Yerushalayim reported that, over a-month-and-a-half, there had been 70 recorded incidents of throwing stones and firebombs at the light rail, or an average of two such incidents per day.31 Damage to the light rail’s infrastructure in the Beit Hanina vicinity and to the train cars themselves had cost the concessionaire of the light rail, CityPass, tens of millions of shekels.32 Jews were also attacked in the Old City, the City of David/Silwan, French Hill, Armon Hanatziv, Wadi Joz, Maale Hazeitim (beside Ras al-Amud), and on the Temple Mount, which became a hub of incitement and agitation with verbal and physical violence directed at Jewish visitors.

At the apex of the wave of violence, terrorists attacked worshippers at the synagogue in Har Nof with guns and axes, murdering four and a policeman. Shots were occasionally fired from Shuafat at nearby homes in Pisgat Ze’ev. A gas station in French Hill was attacked and completely destroyed, a community center was set ablaze, Hamas and Islamic State flags were raised on the Temple Mount, and hired individuals from the northern branch of the Israeli Islamic Movement disrupted and even prevented visits by Jews to the site. On Meir Nakar Street in Armon Hanatziv, the windows of Jewish homes adjacent to the Jebel Mukaber village were shattered repeatedly.33  Jerusalem’s economy, including tourism, was hit hard.34 Patterns of normalization, intermingling, and cooperation between Jews and Arabs were also damaged (see, later in the chapter, the section on “The Significance of Division: The Municipal Aspect”). After many vacillations, the Israel Police and the Border Police stepped up their efforts in the Arab villages and neighborhoods, and this gradually subdued the intifada activity. The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) also deepened its involvement in Jerusalem and began to operate against what is known as “popular terror.” This, too, contributed to a decline in the violence.

Thousands of east Jerusalem residents, many of them children, took part in the violent onslaught. About a thousand were arrested, with about three hundred charged with offenses. The PA managed to fund the legal defense of many of the detainees. Hamas and Fatah were involved and even competed against each other, both on the practical level and in imparting legitimacy and public backing to what both these movements, and particularly Abbas, called “nonviolent popular resistance.” In actuality the struggle veered far from “nonviolence” to terror with stones, firebombs, guns, knives, axes, and vehicles, causing deaths and injuries. In its edition for October 29, 2014, the PA daily Al-Hayat al-Jadida included a supplement called “Al-Atzma” (The Capital) whose headline was “Call the Child by His Name: Jerusalem Is the Capital of the Intifada.” The issue quoted Abbas’s call to come to Jerusalem and defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The first article in the special supplement quoted Abbas’s statement from October 17 calling to use all possible means to prevent Jews from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque so that they would not “contaminate” it.35

During the months of the conflict, figures identified with Fatah and the PA made numerous statements in favor of the anti-Israeli struggle in Jerusalem and other areas, both with lesser and more lethal weapons. Jibril Rajoub, deputy secretary of the Fatah Central Committee, said, “To us the weaponry of the resistance is sacred. We will not harm it, we will not pursue it or monitor it…. In the moment of truth we will all mobilize together, we will all fight together.” Abbas’s adviser Sultan al-Einin, for his part, said, “It is an illusion to think that Fatah has given up the rifle…. We offer an opportunity for peace, but our rifle is still loaded with bullets.”36 On a different occasion he added: “Your quality weapons should be blessed – the wheels of your cars, the kitchen knives and axes. In the name of Allah, these are stronger than the weapons supplies of our enemy, because the use of them is done by the will of Allah. We are the soldiers of Allah.”37

Abbas’s religious affairs adviser, Mahmoud al-Habash, proclaimed similarly: “All of our occupied land, all of our rights in Palestine…the inheritance of our ancestors – all will come back to us, even if it takes time.” Official PA television sent congratulations to the rioters and firebomb throwers. The Fatah movement called on the Palestinians to go out “from every home with cleavers and knives.” Fatah and the official PA newspaper also lavished praise on the “martyr” terrorists who murdered the rabbis in the Har Nof attack.38

The wave of violence, which was given many names (the Third Intifada, the Jerusalem Intifada, the Children’s Intifada, etc.), occurred against the background of a harsh chain of events, both close by and farther away: the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenage boys in Gush Etzion;39 the kidnapping and murder of the Arab teenage boy from Shuafat, Muhammad Abu Khdeir; Israel’s Shuvu Achim (Return, Brothers) operation to locate the kidnapped Jewish boys, which included a large wave of arrests of Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria; and Operation Protective Edge, which dealt a severe blow to Hamas and its facilities in Gaza after ceaseless rocket fire at Israeli communities and cities. During these months dozens of Arabs were also attacked by Jewish rioters as intercommunal tensions spiked in Jerusalem. Eight Palestinians were killed in the city: six were terrorists who carried out attacks, one was killed during a disturbance, and the other was Muhammad Abu Khdeir.

The Second Intifada

In the even more extreme wave of violence that came to be called the Second Intifada, from 2000 to 2004 about 600 terror attacks were perpetrated in Jerusalem (30 of them suicide bombings) that killed 210 people and wounded thousands.40 Most of the fatalities – 174 people – and most of the injuries resulted from suicide bombings on buses, cafes, and in the streets. At the same time, almost 50 percent of the attacks were shooting incidents, which killed 14 (not included in this number are the incidents in the Gilo neighborhood, which I will discuss separately). In addition, explosive devices were used 173 times, 11 cars with explosives were positioned in the city, 32 firebombs and 10 grenades were thrown, and 12 mortars were fired at the city.41 It was the building of the “Jerusalem envelope” barrier, along with the IDF’s return (in Operation Defensive Shield) to the villages and towns near the city for intelligence and preventive activity, that put a stop to this wave of terror. During periods in which Jerusalem suffered from terror, its tourism, industry, and trade sectors were hit hard.

For years Palestinian terror was seen in Israel as a nuisance or an ongoing security risk, but not as a strategic risk. That situation has long since changed. It was the First Intifada and domestic terror that led Israel to sign the Oslo agreements, alter its longstanding positions, give up territorial assets, withdraw unilaterally from southern Lebanon, and disengage from Gaza. Clearly, then, terror has been more than an ongoing security risk.

C. The East Jerusalem Arabs’ Role in Terror Attacks

Beginning with the city’s unification in 1967, Israel adopted a policy aimed at casting east Jerusalem in a different light from the West Bank and at creating a different reality in the city as a whole.42 In Jerusalem it was the police, not the army, that played the role of the security representative of the state. In the capital of Israel during the first 20 years after the Six-Day War, the police and Border Police were cautious about using the curfew as a measure. An attempt was also made not to subjugate commercial strikes, and demonstrations by Arabs were dispersed with tear gas and not with live fire. In all the government pronouncements, and particularly in official events that the Jerusalem municipality organized, a clear attempt was made to show how Israeli sovereignty functioned in Jerusalem. For example, during the 1970s the inauguration ceremonies for the medical center at Sheikh Jarakh, or for the park in Silwan, became public-diplomacy events.

The contrived nature of these alterations emerges in retrospect. They were erased completely when the First Intifada erupted in the late 1980s. Teddy Kollek, the iconic mayor of Jerusalem, said then for the first time that “coexistence has died.”

Scene of the terror attack on the synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem, November 18, 2014. Prayer shawls and holy books are stained with blood. Two terrorists murdered four worshippers and a policeman. East Jerusalem residents’ participation in terror has grown in recent years, but thanks to Israeli security control of the Arab neighborhoods hundreds of attacks have been thwarted and only dozens have been perpetrated. (Photograph: Koby Gidon, Flash 90)
Scene of the terror attack on the synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem, November 18, 2014. Prayer shawls and holy books are stained with blood. Two terrorists murdered four worshippers and a policeman. East Jerusalem residents’ participation in terror has grown in recent years, but thanks to Israeli security control of the Arab neighborhoods hundreds of attacks have been thwarted and only dozens have been perpetrated. (Photograph: Koby Gidon, Flash 90)

Even after the waning of the differences that Israel had sought to emphasize between east Jerusalem and the West Bank, the east Jerusalem Arabs’ role in terror was relatively small and Israel tried to sustain special treatment of them. In security officials’ assessments, their low participation in terror stemmed from their fear of jeopardizing or losing the material benefits they enjoyed. These included child stipends, disability payments, unemployment payments, nursing insurance, old-age benefits, dependents’ stipends, entitlement to health services under the National Health Insurance Law, income-insurance stipends, the right to vote in municipal elections (which they preferred not to exercise), and more varied employment opportunities both in the city and in Israel generally.

During the Second Intifada and the severe terror attacks in Jerusalem, this reality changed as well. According to a December 2004 report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, “from the beginning of 2004 to mid-November alone, 49 Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem and of the ‘envelope’ were arrested for involvement in terror operations.” In earlier years of the Second Intifada as well, over 200 east Jerusalem Arabs were arrested for terror involvement. Most of the terror activity in which “Jerusalemites” were involved was directed by the Hamas terror infrastructures in Hebron and Ramallah and by a terror infrastructure in Bethlehem. In the Jerusalem vicinity the neighborhood of Abu Dis stood out; its residents were involved in most of the terror organizations in the years of extreme attacks in Jerusalem. According to security officials, one factor contributing to this was the location of the Al-Quds University campus in Abu Dis, which became a meeting place for “Jerusalemites” and Palestinians from the territories.

The involvement of “Jerusalemites” and residents of the “envelope” in terror was mostly in accessory roles. This included intelligence gathering and choosing potential targets for attacks, thereby exploiting their knowledge of the city through work, residence, or studies, and bringing terrorists to the targets of attack.43

A 2003 report published by the media department of the Prime Minister’s Office observed:

East Jerusalem Arabs continued to play a significant role in the mass-killing attacks in Israel, with an emphasis on Jerusalem, particularly in providing advice to terror infrastructures in Judea. Hamas stood out as the leading organization in recruiting and activating east Jerusalem Arabs, who took part in five suicide bombings in Israel (in which 64 Israelis were killed). East Jerusalem Arabs were involved in all the operational aspects of carrying out attacks: perpetrating attacks, intelligence gathering, receiving and dispatching terrorists, and identifying and recruiting operatives.

For example, in September three east Jerusalem residents were arrested for carrying out, on Hamas’s behalf, a suicide bombing on Bus 2 in Jerusalem a month earlier, which had killed 23 Israeli citizens and injured 120. The members of the gangs that perpetrated the deadly attacks (involving dozens of fatalities) at the Moment Café in Jerusalem (August 2002), at the billiards club in Rishon Lezion (May 2002), on a bus in French Hill (May 2003), on a bus on Jaffa Road (June 2003), in Haifa (March 2003), and other severe attacks were brought to their targets by east Jerusalem collaborators. The shooting attack at the checkpoint in southeastern Jerusalem, which killed two Israeli security guards (2007), was carried out by two Hamas operatives from the Jebel Mukaber area of east Jerusalem who held Israeli identity cards.44

An intelligence report from a few years ago describes how east Jerusalem residents became a preferred recruitment target for terror organizations, given the obvious advantages: their familiarity with the area, ability to blend into an Israeli environment, and prerogative of free movement within Israel. East Jerusalem Arabs have Israeli identity cards and Israeli vehicle license plates; they can go where they want and enjoy easy access to numerous targets. They are involved socially and economically with Jews but maintain a bond and a strong loyalty to the PA.45

Recent years have also seen dozens of severe attacks by terrorists who were east Jerusalem residents; we will note just a few. The March 2008 attack on the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, which killed eight students and injured ten, was carried out by Ala’a Hashem Abu Adhim, a resident of Jebel Mukaber in southeastern Jerusalem. The July 2008 vehicle-ramming attacks in Jerusalem were carried out by Ghassan Abu Tir, a 22-year-old resident of Umm Tuba in southeastern Jerusalem, and by Hussam Taysir Ibrahim Dawiyat, a 30-year-old resident of Tzur Baher in southeastern Jerusalem; together these two attacks killed three and injured 68.

The Israel Security Agency (ISA) specifies 2008 as a turning-point in east Jerusalem residents’ involvement in terror. During the first half of that year, 71 Palestinian east Jerusalem residents were arrested on suspicion of involvement in terror activity compared to 37 Palestinians in all of 2007.46 In July 2008 a group of east Jerusalem residents, some of them students at the Hebrew University, were arrested. They had planned to form an Al-Qaeda infrastructure and carry out terror attacks in Israel. One of the detainees had explored the possibility of shooting down U.S. President Bush’s helicopter during his visit to Israel.47 The detainees from east Jerusalem were residents of Beit Hanina, the Old City, Jebel Mukaber, and Shuafat.

In March 2009, east Jerusalem resident Merai al-Radeira, a resident of Beit Hanina, committed another vehicle-ramming attack on Begin Boulevard in Jerusalem. Two police officers were lightly wounded.48 In spring 2010 there were several shootings and attacks on police officers and Israeli citizens (without casualties) in Jerusalem; they were carried out by three gangs from east Jerusalem.49

The terror attacks in the second half of 2014, part of the “Jerusalem Intifada” onslaught of terror and violence, were also marked by east Jerusalem Arabs’ involvement.  Here are a few examples. On August 4, Jebel Mukaber resident Muhammad Jabis carried out a ramming attack with a tractor, killing one person and wounding five. On October 25, Silwan resident Abd al-Rahman Shaludi carried out a vehicle-ramming attack at the light-rail station near the national police headquarters, killing three-month-old girl Chaya Zissel Braun and a 20-year-old immigrant from Ecuador, Karen Yemima Muskara. Four days later, on October 29, Muataz Hijazi of the Abu Tor neighborhood shot and seriously wounded 48-year-old Yehuda Glick. Hijazi was killed the next day in a joint police-ISA operation. On November 5, Shuafat resident Ibrahim al-Akri, a Hamas operative, perpetrated a vehicle-ramming attack next to the national police headquarters, killing two people and severely injuring several. Al-Akri was shot to death by border policemen. On November 18 two terrorists, Rassan and Uday Abu Jamal, cousins from Jebel Mukaber, carried out a massacre at the Bnei Torah synagogue in Har Nof, killing four worshippers and a policeman before being killed by security forces.

Cases Where Attacks Were Thwarted

Among east Jerusalem residents, then, motivation to commit terror attacks in Jerusalem exists in abundance. This is evident from the succession of attacks and the high proportion of east Jerusalem Arabs who take part in them. At the same time, several times more attacks are thwarted. There are many hundreds of preventions with arrests of terrorists in east Jerusalem neighborhoods and villages. Such preventions would not be possible without an Israeli intelligence and security presence in these places. Dividing the city would preclude an intelligence and security presence of this kind; yet it would not, as noted, remove the motivation of large parts of the Palestinian population to keep carrying out attacks. 

The following are some examples of successful preventions of this kind, which resulted directly from intelligence and security control of neighborhoods and villages from which the partisans of division want to separate. In September 2004, a suicide bombing was prevented that had been planned by a Palestinian dishwasher at the Filter Café in Jerusalem. In the summer of 2011, a terror gang was arrested that had planned attacks and kidnappings. Among its members were east Jerusalem residents, including Nasser Abu Hadir of Shuafat and Walid Habas of the village of Akav in northern Jerusalem. In May 2012, the ISA foiled a terror organization in Silwan whose members planned to kidnap soldiers and throw pipe bombs; that same month a grouping of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine was uncovered in the village of Isawiya next to Mount Scopus. In March 2012, four youths from the A-Tur village were arrested on suspicion of planning attacks on Jews. In January 2014, the ISA arrested two east Jerusalem residents who planned to fire at a passenger bus and detonate a suicide truck in Jerusalem. They also planned to perpetrate simultaneous bombings at Binyanei Ha’uma (the Jerusalem Convention Center) and the U.S. embassy on Yarkon Street in Tel Aviv. In September 2013, a gag order was lifted on the arrest of members of a Hamas infrastructure in Ramallah and Jerusalem who had planned a mass-casualty attack in the Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem. Among the detainees was Mahmoud Abu Sanina, a resident of Anata village in east Jerusalem who worked in the Old City, along with a resident of Shuafat. In April 2014, another terror gang from Isawiya was uncovered; and during the “Jerusalem Intifada,” the transfer of a large shipment of firecrackers to east Jerusalem was thwarted. The shipment was intended for an east Jerusalem resident who was supposed to substantially upgrade the capacities of organizers of riots in the eastern part of the city.

Disengagement from neighborhoods and villages in east Jerusalem, security officials warn, is highly likely to cause a weakening or loss of control in these neighborhoods and villages and in the Jerusalem envelope, such that the ability to prevent terror attacks that issue from those locations could be lost and the ability to gather intelligence would be damaged.50 A similar relinquishment of cities and villages in the West Bank led to a rise in terror attacks on nearby Israeli targets. The classic example is the town of Bethlehem just south of Jerusalem. After leaving it, Israeli forces had to keep reentering it periodically in subsequent years. Each time the IDF left the town, the number of terror attacks in Jerusalem that issued from Bethlehem increased, and each time the IDF reentered it, the number of attacks in the capital declined. Early in the 2000s, experts at the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center made comparative assessments between the level of terror in Jerusalem when the IDF had security control of Bethlehem and the level of terror in Jerusalem when security control of Bethlehem was entrusted to the Palestinian Authority. Because of the importance of their findings, the results of these experts’ comparisons are presented below:

Nature of the period Date Suicide bombings that issued from Bethlehem
Palestinian security control September 2000–April 2002 (Operation Defensive Shield) Suicide bombings in which hundreds of Israelis were killed and wounded
Israeli security control Operation Defensive Shield: April 2002–May 15, 2002 0 suicide bombings
Palestinian security control May 15, 2002–May 26, 2002 On May 22, 2002 a Fatah suicide bomber from Bethlehem blew himself up on the pedestrian mall in Rishon Lezion; 2 Israelis were killed and 36 wounded
Israeli security control May 27, 2002–end of May 2002 0 suicide bombings; Israeli security forces arrested a gang of operatives of the PA General Intelligence service from Bethlehem, which was preparing to carry out a car-bomb attack on Israeli targets
Palestinian security control Beginning of June 2002–June 19, 2002 On June 18, 2002 a Hamas suicide bomber from Bethlehem blew himself up on an Egged bus at Patt Junction in Jerusalem; 19 were killed and 50 wounded
Israeli security control June 19, 2002–Aug. 20, 2002 On July 30, 2002 a Fatah suicide bomber from Bethlehem blew himself up beside a felafel stand on Hanevi’im Street in Jerusalem; 5 were lightly wounded
Palestinian security control Aug. 20, 2002–Nov. 22, 2002 On Nov. 21, 2002 a Hamas suicide bomber from Bethlehem blew himself up on an Egged bus in the Kiryat Menachem neighborhood in Jerusalem; 11 were killed and 45 wounded
Israeli security control Nov. 22, 2002–Jan. 07, 2003 0 suicide bombings; Israeli security forces uncovered a Hamas infrastructure that was preparing to perpetrate suicide bombings against Israeli targets
Palestinian security control Jan. 07, 2003–end of February 2004 The terror infrastructure in Bethlehem was rehabilitated as the Palestinian security services only superficially and ineffectively dealt with the problem;  the terror infrastructures in Bethlehem worked undisturbed to carry out terror attacks; notable among them were the suicide bombing on Bus 14 in Jerusalem (Feb. 22, 2004) and the suicide bombing on Bus 19 in Jerusalem (Jan. 29, 2004)

The comparison clearly reveals that the suicide bombings that originated in Bethlehem were carried out while security control of the city was in Palestinian hands, whereas, when security control of the city was in Israel’s hands, only one suicide bombing issued from Bethlehem.

Israel’s departure from villages and neighborhoods within Jerusalem will likely cause similar damage to the security forces’ capabilities and lead to an increase in terror attacks in the city. The capacity and pace of uncovering and preventing attacks will probably suffer similarly when there is poorer access to these neighborhoods and to intelligence there.

D. The Precedents: Terror and Shooting at Jewish Neighborhoods in Jerusalem

The most tangible security danger entailed by dividing Jerusalem is that of light-weapons fire from the Arab neighborhoods at the adjacent Jewish neighborhoods.
On September 28, 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo 2 agreement, which ended the first stage of the Israeli-PLO negotiating process and gave the Palestinians self-rule in the Palestinian cities of the West Bank and Gaza and in 450 Palestinian villages as well. In return, the Palestinian leadership ostensibly recognized the State of Israel’s right to exist and undertook to cease making use of terror. One of the towns that was transferred to the Palestinians and included in Area A, where both civil and security authority was given to the Palestinians, was Beit Jalla. This town is just outside the jurisdictional boundary of Jerusalem but abuts the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo, which is within the city’s jurisdiction.

With the outbreak of the Second Intifada, shooting began from Beit Jalla at Jewish residential homes in Gilo. The shooting started in September 2000 and continued on and off until 2005. Sometimes it was continuous, every day for a few months. Sometimes it stopped for a few weeks, then began again. The shooting occurred day and night, with the aim of disrupting the residents’ lives as much as possible. The gunmen and their weapons enjoyed a supportive civilian and military backdrop thanks to territorial contiguity between Beit Jalla and other parts of Area A such as Bethlehem, Beit Sahur, or the Dehaishe refugee camp. They could access their positions for firing at Gilo at any time they wanted, and retreat deep into the Palestinian area at any other time. Whereas the Palestinians wielded civil and security control in these locations, the agreements with the Palestinians precluded the IDF and the Israeli security agencies from pursuing them.

Dozens of Israelis were wounded by the firing on Gilo, most lightly and a few seriously. Thousands suffered from anxiety, including numerous children. The main damage was the disruption of the residents’ normal life; they feared to leave their homes, and some abandoned their apartments until the storm had passed. In that period the Gilo Bet, Haroeh, and Gilo Dalet schools went on strike several times, as did nursery schools in the vicinity. Some of the residents and some of the institutions lined their buildings with sandbags. Another significant element of the damage was symbolic: a major neighborhood in the capital of Israel was under fire for a number of years. During this time there were warnings of mortar fire at the neighborhood, and several times mortars were indeed fired at it. In March 2002, for example, a mortar fell on Ha’anafa Street but fortunately did not explode.

Israel tried to cope with the situation in different ways but had great difficulty doing so:51

  1. When the IDF operated in Beit Jalla, which is in Area A, it did so under moral and political constraints. Beit Jalla is a Christian town with religious and educational institutions, along with churches, and sometimes the firing was done from within these buildings. The IDF strove not to harm religious and educational institutions or, for that matter, the population. Generally the Beit Jalla residents, many of whom left their apartments, were opposed to the shooting that was perpetrated from within their homes by terror gangs that had commandeered them. The Western world and the United States closely monitored Israel’s activity in this populated area and imposed constraints on it. Sometimes operational decisions were taken under political constraints.
  2. Israel gave protective reinforcement to many hundreds of homes in the Gilo neighborhood; by March 2002 the windows of 950 apartments on Ha’anafa Street had been bulletproofed. Another 700 unprotected apartments, however, were damaged by the shooting. Every few months the reinforcements were extended to additional areas.
  3. A stone wall was built in an attempt to obstruct or mitigate the hits, and particularly to give the residents a sense of security.
  4. The Jerusalem municipality’s welfare services were beefed up and made available daily to the residents in an attempt to soothe anxiety, provide help, and solve ongoing or specific problems.

In those years there were also incidents of shooting at other Jerusalem neighborhoods and locations. Here are some examples:52

  1. On December 1, 2000, shots were fired at a bus that was crossing the bridge in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood, next to the French Hill intersection in Jerusalem. No one was hurt. Searches conducted in Beit Hanina, which is within Jerusalem, found a Kalashnikov automatic weapon beside one of the roads; it had been used for the shooting.
  2. On August 19, 2001, a six-year-old girl and a 20-year-old man were wounded by firing at an Egged bus on the Pisgat Ze’ev road. The firing was done from an adjacent hill.
Riots in Shuafat after the murder of the Palestinian teenage boy Muhammad Abu Khdeir, July 2014. During the “Jerusalem Intifada” there were a few incidents of shooting from Shuafat at Pisgat Ze’ev. It was Israeli security control of the place that brought these to an end. In contrast, the shooting incidents from Beit Jalla at Gilo in the early 2000s went on for four years because the town had been transferred to the Palestinians. (Photograph: Sliman Khader, Flash 90).
Riots in Shuafat after the murder of the Palestinian teenage boy Muhammad Abu Khdeir, July 2014. During the “Jerusalem Intifada” there were a few incidents of shooting from Shuafat at Pisgat Ze’ev. It was Israeli security control of the place that brought these to an end. In contrast, the shooting incidents from Beit Jalla at Gilo in the early 2000s went on for four years because the town had been transferred to the Palestinians. (Photograph: Sliman Khader, Flash 90).
  1. On October 18, 2001, a terrorist gang, all Jebel Mukaber residents, fired a few bursts of gunfire at the Oz police station and at homes in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood. Also on October 6, 2001, the gang fired at a police patrol vehicle in the area. The four terrorists, who were apprehended in December 2002, admitted that they had also planned to shoot at a bus going from Armon Hanatziv to Jebel Mukaber.
  2. On September 19, 2004, shots were fired at Yitzhak Nissim Street in the Har Homa neighborhood. A bullet went into an apartment and caused minor damage. The shooting was apparently done from the Umm Tuba neighborhood.

Unlike the persistent fire from Beit Jalla in Area A, these events remained isolated incidents because they occurred in places under Israeli sovereignty and control, within the boundaries of Jerusalem. Israel’s security and intelligence access to these places was immediate and ongoing, and this prevented gunmen from operating like the gunmen in Beit Jalla, where Israel did not have immediate and ongoing security and intelligence access. 

A further illustration of the differences between light-weapons fire from areas under Israeli control and from areas under Palestinian control is found in the isolated incidents of shooting from Shuafat in northern Jerusalem at homes in Pisgat Ze’ev. These incidents, which did not cause casualties, occurred in the second half of 2014 during the “Jerusalem Intifada.”

Although the Shuafat refugee camp was left outside the security fence and the route of the Jerusalem envelope, it remained under formal Israeli sovereignty. From many standpoints the area has become an ex-Israeli territory and a no-man’s-land, to which Israeli sovereignty applies formally while the different branches of government refrain from providing services to the residents or enforcing their authority there. At the same time, the Israeli security agencies continued to maintain a minimal security presence there by means of the Border Police, along with a significant intelligence presence. When the sporadic shooting from Shuafat at Pisgat Ze’ev began, the Israeli security and intelligence presence in the locale was deepened and widened.

In the case of Shuafat, too, as in the built-up area behind Beit Jalla, a sympathetic population helped the gunmen find refuge and hide their weapons. And in the case of Shuafat, too, the contiguity between the camp, which the fence had de facto removed from Jerusalem, and the outskirts of Ramallah afforded a sympathetic civilian backdrop to which one could escape. The lack of an effective Israeli checkpoint between Shuafat, which is beyond the separation fence, and the West Bank made it easier for the gunmen. Nevertheless, the fact that the locale remained in Israel’s hands enabled the security forces to operate there with greater freedom, and the shooting incidents remained isolated instead of becoming an onslaught as in the case of Beit Jalla and Gilo.

The shooting incidents from Shuafat at Pisgat Ze’ev occurred mainly from August to October 2014. A few private cars and houses were lightly damaged in Yosef Nedava, Eliyahu Meridor, Chaim Gevaryahu, and Yoel Friedler streets. The residents in the first row of houses had to hang laundry behind a shield.53 On Shabbat, August 23, an Israeli sniper force hit a terrorist who had fired at Pisgat Ze’ev homes and wounded him severely. The wounded man was taken by a Red Crescent ambulance to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem.54 On July 7, at the start of the wave of violence, an isolated shooting incident also occurred in the Jebel Mukaber area; shots were fired at homes in the adjacent Nof Tzion neighborhood. A police force that came to the spot found five pistol casings.55 During the “Jerusalem Intifada,” fireworks were shot at the homes of Jewish residents on Shmuel Nakar Street, in addition to the throwing of stones and firebombs in the area. These incidents also originated in Jebel Mukaber.

E. The Future: The Possibility of Wide-Scale Exposure to Terror and Shooting after Dividing the City

Light weaponry is currently in Palestinian hands both officially and unofficially. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, as well as the PA security agencies have Kalashnikov, M16, and Galil rifles. The Palestinians also have machine guns (mostly Russian) of longer range, up to 1.5 km. Military officials assess that the Palestinians in the West Bank currently have a total of 15-20,000 gun barrels, mostly rifles and some machine guns. Criminal elements also possess such weapons,56 and Palestinians also obtain weapons through  thefts and trade with the Israeli crime world.

In the case of a disengagement and division of Jerusalem, and the transfer of all West Bank territory, up to the new municipal border, to PA control, there would be no real difficulty in transferring these and similar weapons from well within the West Bank to the Jerusalem envelope, and from there to east Jerusalem neighborhoods and villages. The area in question is partially built-up, and there would be no hindrances or checkpoints on the way to the municipal boundary. The same occurred previously in Beit Jalla, Beit Hanina, Shuafat, and other places.

At present Jerusalem is a crowded, intermingled Jewish-Arab, urban expanse. The distances between many of its Jewish neighborhoods and Arab neighborhoods that are candidates for “separation” are within light-weapons range – from dozens to hundreds of meters – and certainly within machinegun range.

Especially given the precedents of ongoing shooting at Gilo from Beit Jalla and of potential light-weapons fire at Pisgat Ze’ev from Shuafat as illustrated in the second half of 2014, one must take into account the possible extensive use of light weapons against Jewish neighborhoods at many points of friction and proximity along the planned line of division, whose estimated length is 46 kilometers. Incidentally, the shooting at Gilo from Beit Jalla, which is adjacent but outside Jerusalem’s jurisdictional zone, was done both with light weapons and machine guns of the PPK type. More than once the machinegun fire came from within Bethlehem and was able to reach Gilo because of its long range.

One of the ways to reduce light-weapons strikes in Jewish neighborhoods at times of conflict is to build a wall to block the fire and separate the populations. Even most proponents of division do not favor this. Even when such a wall is built, often it will not be effective because the Palestinian buildings, like, for example, the high buildings in Shuafat, can command the topography.57 A wall, of course, will have no effect on high-trajectory fire, such as mortars and Qassam rockets, which some Palestinians are already trying to manufacture in the West Bank. Thanks to the constant presence of the ISA and the IDF, they are not succeeding. But the IDF’s withdrawal from the Jerusalem envelope and the east Jerusalem neighborhoods would, of course, change the picture.58

Farther back in the past there were isolated cases in which Katyusha rockets were fired, or an attempt was made to fire them, at Jerusalem. On August 26, 1969, for example, three Katyusha rockets were fired at the city. One landed beside Ganei Yehuda, the second in Katamon, and the third in an abandoned field. In searching Beit Sahur, IDF forces found another sixteen launchers ready for use.

Salah al-Aruri, head of Hamas’s foreign headquarters located in Turkey. Aruri seeks to create a rocket threat to Israel from the West Bank as well. (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)

Salah al-Aruri, head of Hamas’s foreign headquarters located in Turkey. Aruri seeks to create a rocket threat to Israel from the West Bank as well. (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)


The words of Salah al-Aruri,59 head of Hamas’s foreign headquarters, in May 2014 to the newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi shed light on the aims of some West Bank Palestinians to keep trying to obtain rockets for use against Israel from the West Bank (and in case of a division of Jerusalem, and the resulting contiguity with the West Bank, from Jerusalem itself as well):

Aruri said the “resistance” in The West Bank is constantly growing, and eventually will bring about an all-out conflict with Israel. He also expressed hope that the “resistance” will manage to obtain rockets. When asked whether this is possible, he said that, considering that in Gaza rockets have been manufactured under a blockade, in the West Bank it will be possible to surmount all the difficulties and do so as well. Aruri said further that a new war against Israel would include “surprises,” and that any future round of fighting would differ from its predecessors because Hamas is not ceasing to develop its capabilities.60

Indeed, already in May 2010 Mahmoud Abbas confirmed that “Hamas is smuggling large quantities of weapons into the West Bank.”61 Five months later, in October 2010, the PA’s security services confiscated a large Hamas weapons stockpile in Ramallah that included, among other things, automatic weapons, mortars, and rockets. Hamas affirmed that the weapons were intended to fight Israel.62 In addition, during the operation to locate the three Israeli teenage boys who were kidnapped in Gush Etzion (and then murdered), which was conducted mainly in the Hebron area, tunnels were found with numerous weapons in them, mostly light weapons. Also at that time in Nablus, hundreds of weapons were discovered including M16 rifles, grenades, pistols, explosive devices, and hundreds of bullets. Also found was a lathe for making machineguns.63

The danger of division and exposure to light-weapons fire: a playground in East Talpiot abutting Abu Rabia Street in Jebel Mukaber. (Photograph: Ariel Shragai)
The danger of division and exposure to light-weapons fire: a playground in East Talpiot abutting Abu Rabia Street in Jebel Mukaber. (Photograph: Ariel Shragai)

In August 2014 the ISA arrested 93 Hamas operatives who were suspected of setting up a terror infrastructure on the West Bank and planning to overthrow the PA. In this case, too, weapons were seized including, among others, 24 rifles, mostly M16s, six pistols, seven rocket launchers, and a great deal of ammunition. This infrastructure was directed by, among others, Aruri in Turkey, who, as we saw, said only three months later that rockets could be manufactured in the West Bank as well.64 Hamas at first denied the ISA’s claim that the weapons had been amassed as part of an attempt to perpetrate a coup in the West Bank; however, in December 2014 a senior Hamas official in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar, declared that Hamas would liberate the West Bank just like Gaza: “Just as we liberated Gaza, just as we established a real national government in it, just as we established a victorious army in it, a protective police force, security services against the enemy, we will make the same effort in the West Bank as preparation for reaching all of Palestine.”65

The danger of division and exposure to light-weapons fire: Bus stop on Barzani Street in East Talpiot and behind it houses of Jebel Mukaber (Photograph: Ariel Shragai)
The danger of division and exposure to light-weapons fire: Bus stop on Barzani Street in East Talpiot and behind it houses of Jebel Mukaber (Photograph: Ariel Shragai)

Thus the motivation to fight Israel exists, and it will continue to exist among many of the Palestinians even after any agreement on a division. Moreover, the precedents of light-weapons fire and attempts at mortar fire on Jerusalem are plentiful. In light of past experience, the difficulty of acting against activity of this kind and thwarting it, when one is outside of the places in question, almost needs no proof. Hamas talks about its plans explicitly. The PA and Fatah speak in one language to the Western world and the Jews and in another language to their own domestic population. There they uphold the “right of return” and the “Phased Plan” to supplant Israel. The statements are documented – written, recorded, and filmed. There is no point in denying the reality.

The danger of division and exposure to light-weapons fire: Lehi Street alongside the Hyatt Hotel. Houses of Jews on the right, of Arabs on the left, and a street in the middle.
The danger of division and exposure to light-weapons fire: Lehi Street alongside the Hyatt Hotel. Houses of Jews on the right, of Arabs on the left, and a street in the middle.

It is worth noting further that both unilateral withdrawals and withdrawals carried out by agreement were interpreted by the Palestinians in the past as part of the victory of their strategy of terror. They concluded that this strategy was worth continuing so as to score additional achievements.66 Thus, after either a unilateral separation or a separation by agreement, the motivation to strike the Jewish neighborhoods will emerge both among radical Islamic elements who will oppose a settlement and among nationalist elements, who will see light-weapons fire as a way of pressuring Israel into further concessions on the issues of refugees, “Arab property in west Jerusalem,” holy places, and the like.

In this context, past agreements with the Palestinians have led to increased rather than decreased terror. Whatever the reason, it is a fact that in the 15 years before the Oslo agreements (signed on September 13, 1993), 254 Israelis were killed by Palestinian terrorists, while in the seven years from the Oslo agreements until September 2000 (the beginning of the Second Intifada) the number was 256, and in the period from September 2000 to September 2005, the number of Israelis killed reached 1,097.67

The danger of division and exposure to light-weapons fire: Moshe Sneh Street in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood. Houses of Jews on the left, a street in the middle, houses of Arabs on the right. (Photograph: Ariel Shragai)
The danger of division and exposure to light-weapons fire: a row of buildings in Armon Hanatziv facing Jebel Mukaber. (Photograph: Ariel Shragai)
The danger of division and exposure to light-weapons fire: a row of buildings in Armon Hanatziv facing Jebel Mukaber. (Photograph: Ariel Shragai)

F. Weapons’ Ranges and the Proximity of Jewish and Arab Neighborhoods68

The settled areas in the territories that were annexed to Jerusalem after 1967 created a dense urban continuity in which Jewish and Arab neighborhoods abut each other or are intermingled. In March 2000 a security official who was asked about the possibility of transferring three Arab villages near Jerusalem – Abu Dis, Azariya, and A-Ram – to Palestinian security control said: “Terrorist elements would be able to exploit the small distance, sometimes just the crossing of a street, to attack people or property. A terrorist can stand across the street, shoot at the Israeli side or throw an explosive, and it may not be possible to do anything about it. The border will be a road.” If that is true regarding neighborhoods that are outside the municipal jurisdictional boundary, it is all the more true regarding Arab neighborhoods that are within it. These “perimeter neighborhoods” abut or are very close to the Jewish “perimeter neighborhoods.” For every Arab “perimeter” there is a Jewish “perimeter,” and the public advocacy of those supporting a division tends to ignore this fact.

The first Arab neighborhoods that are candidates for inclusion in a planned division are perimeter neighborhoods of that kind. In the north: Shuafat, Beit Hanina, and Isawiya. In the east: Ras al-Amud, Sawarha al-Arabiya, and Jebel Mukaber. In the south: Arav a-Sawarha, Umm Lisun, Tsur Baher, and Umm Tuba, along with the village of Walaja, only a minority of which is within the Jerusalem jurisdictional zone.

At a later stage, the proponents of a division also speak of separation from more central locations such as Sheikh Jarrah, Wadi Joz, Bab a-Zahara, A-Tur, part of Silwan, and possibly even part of Abu Tor, Sharafat, and Beit Safafa. Here the proximity and sometimes intermingling with the Jewish neighborhoods is even more pronounced. The Clinton Parameters, which in the past had supporters in the Israeli government, even envisage possibly dividing the Old City, the Holy Basin, and the Temple Mount between Israel and the Palestinians.

Although the northern neighborhoods – Kfar Akav and Semiramis, Shuafat, and Dahiyat al-Salam – have already been separated de facto from Jerusalem by the security fence, they have not been transferred to the PA, the IDF continues to control them, and officially they are still part of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. In these neighborhoods 32,000 residents now live.69

Ranges for weapons in the West Bank that the Palestinians have possessed in the past or possess at present:

Light weapons: Kalashnikov – 400 m. M16 – 550 m. Various machineguns –1-1.5 km.

Mortars – 82-mm mortar – 1.8 km. Improved 82-mm mortar – 4-6 km.

Qassam-2 rockets – 9 km. The Palestinians in Gaza have much longer-ranger rockets, which they used during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. Those, however, are not relevant to our concerns in illustrating the danger to Jerusalem.

As noted, so far the Palestinians have not succeeded to recreate in the West Bank their abilities to manufacture and launch mortars and Qassams from Gaza; but they attempt it ceaselessly. According to a report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (“Terror against Israel in 2006: Data, Characteristics, and Trends”): “The smuggling of weapons to terror organizations in the West Bank continued in various forms: weapons purchases; smuggling from Jordan via the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert; smuggling from Gaza and from Israel; stealing from IDF bases.” These efforts have not ceased in recent years.

Distances between Arab Neighborhoods that Are Candidates for “Separation” and Jewish Neighborhoods:

In the north:

Shuafat – homes in French Hill: 275-500 m.

Shuafat – eastern Pisgat Ze’ev: 90-300 m.

Beit Hanina – northern Pisgat Ze’ev: 300-500 m.

Shuafat – western Pisgat Ze’ev: 400-500 m.

Shuafat – Moshe Dayan Boulevard (a north-south artery running through Pisgat Ze’ev): average distance 300 m.

Shuafat – Uzi Narkiss Street (a section of Road 60 that connects between northern Jerusalem and further north): dozens of meters.

Isawiya – Mount Scopus: 70-200 m. The village is close to the university campus on Mount Scopus, to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus, to the homes in the Tzameret Habira neighborhood (part of French Hill), and to the Jerusalem-Maale Adumim road. Before 1967 the village was part of the Israeli enclave on Mount Scopus.

In the east:

Wadi Joz – Adjacent to the roads that lead to Mount Scopus, and about 500 m from Kiryat Hamemshala in Sheikh Jarrah.

>Sheikh Jarakh – Adjacent to Kiryat Hamemshala. 300-500 m from the memorial at Ammunition Hill and from the Maalot Dafna neighborhood.

The area of Bab a-Zahara, Salach-a-Din, and Masuda – Dozens of meters to 500 meters from the neighborhoods of Mea Shearim, Beit Yisrael, Morasha, and Shmuel Hanavi.

A-Tur, A-Sheikh, Wadi Kadum – Dozens to hundreds of meters from the cemetery on the Mount of Olives. In some locations: control of the roads to the Mount of Olives.

Silwan – Dozens of meters from the City of David, the wall of the Old City, the Dung Gate, and the ascent to the Western Wall.

Ras al-Amud – Hundreds of meters from the cemetery on the Mount of Olives. 1,000 m from the Old City.

Beit Safafa – Actually absorbed into adjacent Jewish neighborhoods: zero distance.

Sharafat – Teddy Stadium: 700 m.

Sharafat – Gilo: minimum range: 400 m.

In the south:

Tzur Baher – East Talpiot: minimum distance: 200 m.

Jebel Mukaber – East Talpiot: minimum distance: dozens of meters.

Umm Tuba, Tzur Baher – Har Homa: 1,000 m.

Wallaja – The main mall of Jerusalem in Malha, the Malha neighborhood, the Givat Massuah neighborhood, the track of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train, the Biblical Zoo: 2,500-4,000 m (not within light-weapons range but within mortar range).

The Old City:

The Clinton Parameters proposed a division of the Old City and the Temple Mount between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and part of the Armenian Quarter – The Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall: a range of zero, and from dozens to hundreds of meters.

The Old City Wall – Yemin Moshe, Mount Zion, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, Mamilla, the Russian Compound, the center of Jerusalem: dozens to hundreds of meters.

Implementing a separation will inevitably turn many of Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods into fringe border areas with all that this entails economically, in security terms, and regarding image and morale. Such a possibility was already on the agenda during the 2000 Camp David Summit and afterward. Seventy percent of Jerusalem residents believed at the time that “the seam-line neighborhoods will be under fire.”70 The then-mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, considered that “the separation will constitute a daily security risk.”71 The chairpersons of the community administrations of the seam-line neighborhoods, who met with Olmert at the time, listened to security assessments and also expressed serious fears.72 The then-police commissioner, Asaf Hefetz, said that “it will be very difficult to protect Jews at the Western Wall.” He foresaw

severe problems in the seam-line neighborhoods and in the Jewish Quarter…. I do not know how it will be possible to solve all the problems that will arise as a result of the changes being planned. Terror will not completely stop after the signing of the agreement with the Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority does not have total control over its society, especially because Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad conduct activities that are decided on elsewhere, such as Syria and Iran.73

Other security officials made similar warnings.

G. Conclusions

Based on data from the field and experience with the Palestinians in both the recent and more distant past, Israel cannot allow itself to separate from Arab neighborhoods unless the responsibility for security remains exclusively in its hands. If Israel retains such security responsibility, even if civil powers are transferred to the PA, Israel will continue to be seen as the party controlling these areas and as not really having separated from them. From the security standpoint, a separation in the foreseeable future is very dangerous for Israel and for the Jewish residents of Jerusalem. It is likely to create a potential for the Lebanonization of the areas, severe damage to security, and severe damage to the Jewish population’s sense of security.

It should also be noted that, while the distances between some of the neighborhoods outside the Jerusalem jurisdictional zone transferred to the PA and adjacent Jewish neighborhoods are in a range of zero to hundreds of meters, the IDF continues to control these areas and prevents shooting and terror attacks against Jerusalem residents. For example, former ISA Director Yuval Diskin told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset74 that the IDF and ISA had uncovered a terror gang from Bethlehem just a day before it intended to fire mortars at Gilo or Har Homa.75 The members of the gang had among their weapons six mortars and an 0.3 machinegun.

H. Defending Jerusalem in Time of War

Despite its importance, this aspect is touched upon only briefly in this book and merits separate professional consideration.

The new jurisdictional boundary of Jerusalem was determined in 1967 in line with several considerations; one of these was the security consideration.76 The city’s borders were drawn after a heated debate and as a compromise between those who favored a concept of numerous areas and those who favored a concept of relatively few ones. Army officers were among those who favored a border that would encompass the mountain ridges surrounding the city, for a total territory of over 200,000 dunams: from Kalandia in the north to Bethlehem in the south, and from Maale Adumim in the east to Maale Hachamisha in the west. They believed that in this way the city would be distanced from the danger of bombardment.77 Eventually, though, the main consideration in setting the new jurisdictional boundary was to add a maximum of territory with a minimum of Arab population to the city, and thereby prevent a possible division in the future. The borderline encompassed ridges overlooking the city, the access roads to it, and valleys that are suitable for military defense.78

Twice in the recent past Jerusalem was subject to a state of war: in 1948 (the War of Independence) and in 1967 (the Six-Day War). Today it is commonly assumed that sooner or later a Palestinian state will be established and the jurisdictional boundaries of Jerusalem, whatever they are, will constitute part of the State of Israel’s border with this state.

Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror,79 former head of the National Security Council, has noted that in case of another war in the future, Israel must protect itself in Jerusalem in several major regards:

  1. Control over access roads to the city must remain in Israel’s hands.
  2. The war over the city must be waged on the way to it, not within it.

Amidror asserted that in a situation of war, the territory required to achieve these basic objectives is “12 by 12 kilometers,” and that Jerusalem’s current jurisdictional borders are insufficient to achieve these objectives.

In the past, security officials who have explored this issue have stated that “the spatial dimension of the security context of defending Jerusalem must be such that it will contribute to a military victory at the moment of truth,” and that “as such, it must include within it territorial features that will help the IDF with most of the possible war scenarios, from a surprise on the part of the enemy to an IDF offensive initiative. These spaces must give the IDF a blocking capacity on land and in the air in the Jerusalem environs, without the city itself being harmed.”80 In February 1996, the head of the Central Command, Gen. Ilan Biran, presented to then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres a plan to ensure a territorial continuity of Jewish communities and a network of roads around Jerusalem. Biran said that “without territorial continuity in the area around Jerusalem, it will be difficult to ensure Israeli control.”81

This book is not the place to specify those “territorial features.” It should just be mentioned that after the “disengagement” from Gaza, Hamas developed activity patterns of an army. One should also mention the events of the Second Lebanon War and the strengthening of Hizbullah, which has become an army. The focus of this book is Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. Likewise in the territories of the Palestinian state, the future neighbor of Jerusalem, elements identified with radical Islam live and work, and the potential exists (within a time range of a few years) for the emergence of a hostile army.

The “new Middle East” – or the regional upheaval in which countries (Syria, Iraq, Egypt, etc.) have been disintegrating and frequently changing their regimes, all under the shadow of ascendant radical Islam headed by the new caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the ISIS phenomenon – requires Israel to maintain a security presence in all the land west of the Jordan River, even if the PA is politically incorporated into some sort of arrangement. Such a presence is part of the eastern defensive configuration for Jerusalem, in case another state of war should emerge.

* * *


1 Lehrs, Masa u’Matan, 93.

2 The data are taken from a position paper on “Hofesh Hadiyur b’ Yerushalayim” (Freedom of Housing in Jerusalem), written by Jerusalem City Council member Yair Gabai in October 2011.

3 A summation of police, IDF, and ISA reports on this subject.

4 Diana Bechor, “Hamemshala Hikriza al Hareshut c’Yeshut Tomechet Teror” (The Government Has Declared the PA a Terror-Supporting Entity), Ynet, December 4, 2001.

5 Knesset Research and Information Center, background document on the terror organizations fighting Israel, September 2, 2004, 6. For example, Ibraham Chasuna, a member of the “Naval Police” who served in Nablus, carried out the terror attack at the Maariv Junction in Tel Aviv on March 5, 2002 (three dead and 31 wounded) in the name of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade; Ali Jiara, a member of the “Palestinian Police” from the Bethlehem region, carried out the suicide bombing on Bus 19 in Jerusalem on January 29, 2004 (11 dead and 50 wounded), also under the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades’ aegis,

6 See abundant material at Palestinian Media Watch.

7 Report by Asaf Gibor in Makor Rishon, January [February?] 4, 2007, 3. [original is:]

8 Ibid.

9 Nir Yahav, “Kach Shukmu Kochot Habitachon Bareshut Hafalestinit” (How the Security Forces in the Palestinian Authority Were Rehabilitated), Walla, March 28, 2012,

10 Abundantly detailed at Palestinian Media Watch.

11 For an overview of Abbas’s statements on Safed, their significance, and the responses to them, see MEMRI (Hebrew):

12 Ran Dagoni, “64 percent m’Hafalestinim: L’hei’avek ad Shichrur Falestin Hahistorit” (64 Percent of the Palestinians: Fight until the Liberation of Historical Palestine), Globes, June 29, 2014.

13 Khaled Abu Toameh, “Hareshut Hafalestinit Tovaat 7,000 Binyanim b’Maarav Ha’ir” (The Palestinian Authority Claims 7,000 Buildings in the West of the City), Yerushalayim, August 6, 1999, 36.

14 Ibid.

15 Hagai Huberman, “Shalom tmurat Lishkat Hasar” (Peace for the Minister’s Bureau), “Musaf Shabbat” (Shabbat Supplement), Hatzofe, August 20, 1999.

16 From a survey cited by Dr. Menachem Klein in Yuzmat Geneva: Mabat m’Bifnim (The Geneva Initiative: A View from Within) (Jerusalem: Carmel, 2006), 151-153; Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki: “Ramon’s plan for a division of Jerusalem is not sufficient because he is not prepared to cede the Jewish neighborhoods: Ramot, Gilo, Pisgat Ze’ev, and the like,” December 11, 2007.

17 Report by Hagai Huberman, Makor Rishon, December 2, 2007, 7.

18 Reports on this subject by security officials.

19 Prof. Arnon Soffer, “Hageiografia Sh’me’achorei Heskemei Oslo: Sikunim Bit’choni’im” (The Geography behind the Oslo Agreements: Security Risks), lecture by Ephraim Eitan, Menachem Landau, Avi Becher, and Eli Hadar, University of Haifa, Department of Political Science.

20 Al-Dustur, February 28, 2008. Abbas said among other things: “At the present time I am against the armed struggle because we are not capable of implementing it, but in the next stages, maybe matters will be different.”

21 Amira Hass, “Seker Daat Kahal Falestini: Haniyeh Gover al Abbas” (Palestinian Opinion Poll: Haniyeh Beats Abbas), Haaretz website, December 17, 2012.

22 “Seker bekerev Falestinim: Tmicha Goveret b’Hamas le’echar Hamivtza” (Poll of Palestinians: Growing Support for Hamas after the Operation), Ynet, September 2, 2014, quotation from Associated Press.

23 “84 percent m’Hafalestinim Tomchim Bapigua b’Yerushalayim” (84 Percent of the Palestinians Support the Terror Attack in Jerusalem), Walla, March 20, 2008,

24 Nir Yahav, “54 percent m’Hafalestinim Tomchim Bapiguim” (54 Percent of the Palestinians Support the Terror Attacks), Walla, March 15, 2009,

25 “32 percent m’Hafalestinim Tomchim Batevach b’Itamar” (32 Percent of the Palestinians Support the Massacre in Itamar), NRG website, April 6, 2011. The survey was done by experts from the Hebrew University in cooperation with senior members of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research,

26 Kol Yisrael website, December 10, 2014 (Hebrew),

27 Nadav Shragai, “13 Shana La’intifada Hashnia – Lama Ze Kara” (13 Years since the Second Intifada – Why It Happened), Israel Hayom, September 28, 2013,

28 For more on the relative weight of the different factions in east Jerusalem, see Shlomi Bochnik, “Hamizrach Haparua” (The Wild East), Yediot Yerushalayim, July 25, 2014.

29 For a rundown of the terror attacks in Jerusalem since the Six-Day War, see “Kronika shel Teror” (Chronicle of Terror), Kol Ha’ir, March 1, 1996.

30 For more on the events of the “Jerusalem Intifada” and data on it, see, e.g., Friday issues of the local paper Yediot Yerushalayim from July, August, September, and November 2014, ongoing reports in Haaretz from this period, and a series of overviews of the violence in Jerusalem by Nadav Shragai that appeared in the “Yisrael Hashavua” (Israel This Week) supplement of Israel Hayom on July 18, September 12, September 19, October 24, and November 7, 2014.

31 Elisha Ben Kimon, “Memutza shel Shnei Eru’ei Tkifa b’Yom Neged Harakevet Hakala” (An Average of Two Attacks a Day on the Light Rail), Yediot Yerushalayim, August 22, 2014, 38.

32 Alon Sin-Moshe, “Harakevet Hakala – Madua Ovdot Rak 15 Rakevot m’toch 23” (The Light Rail – Why Do Only 15 Trains Work out of 23?), Kol Ha’ir, August 29, 2014; Roi Alman, “Ha’alimut neged Harakevet: Kimaat Cheitzi m’Hakronot Nizoku” (The Violence against the Train: Almost Half the Cars Have Been Damaged), Yediot Yerushalayim, August 29, 2014.

33 Elisha Ben Kimon and Tzipi Malkub, “Chazarnu m’Aruchat Sheshi v’Kol Habayit Haya Menopatz” (We Came Back from the Friday Meal and the Whole House Was Wrecked), Yediot Aharonot, October 31, 2014, 26.

34 For more, see Yishai Porat, “Tznicha b’Mechirot, Yerida b’Tayarut Hapnim” (Steep Drop in Sales, Decline in Domestic Tourism), Yediot Yerushalayim, October 31, 2014, 50; in the same issue, Tzipi Malkub, “Mefachadim Lehagiya Liknot Mipnei Sh’ze Mizrach Ha’ir” (Afraid to Come and Buy Because It’s the Eastern Part of the City), 52.

35 “Musaf Mitaam Hareshut Hafalestinit Sh’Kotereto ‘Yerushalayim Birat Ha’intifada’” (A Supplement by the Palestinian Authority Whose Title Is “Jerusalem, Capital of the Intifada”), MEMRI, November 2, 2014.

36 Palestinian Media Watch, November 16, 2014,

37 Ibid., November 20, 2014,

38 Ibid., November 26, 2014,

39 On June 12, 2014, three Israeli teenage boys in Gush Etzion were kidnapped by Palestinian Hamas terrorists and murdered by them that same night. The bodies of the three, Gilad Shear, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Ifrach, were found west of the town of Halhoul on June 30, 18 days after the kidnapping, at the end of an extensive search operation.

40 From a report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, December 1, 2004.

41 Based on IDF and police data.

42 Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 340-343.

43 Report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, December 1, 2004.

44 Police and ISA reports on this subject.

45 A similar description of the strong connection between the east Jerusalem Arabs and the PA was given by then-Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter at a conference on the unity of Jerusalem at the Lander Institute, December 2007.

46 For details, see (Hebrew):

47 See (Hebrew):

48 (Hebrew)

49 See at the ISA website (Hebrew):

50 An example out of many of the thwarting of an attack thanks to IDF control of the Jerusalem area is the exposure of the plan for a bombing attack on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv rail line. Published in the Israeli media on January 17, 2008.

51 The data on the events in Gilo are taken from the Gilo administration, the Jerusalem municipality, media reports from that time, official announcements of the IDF spokesperson and the Israel Police, and from close familiarity with the events.

52 The documentation is based on police records and articles on the Haaretz, Yediot Aharonot, and Maariv websites.

53 See, e.g., a picture and documentation of this in Elisha Ben Kimon, “Biglal Pachad m’Yeriot: Tolim Kvisa me’achorei Maginim” (For Fear of Gunshots: Hanging Laundry behind a Protector), Yediot Aharonot, September 12, 2014.

54 Ido Ben Porat, “Niftza Kashe Mechabel Sh’yara l’ever Pisgat Ze’ev” (The Terrorist Who Fired at Pisgat Ze’ev Was Severely Wounded), Arutz Sheva website, August 24, 2014.

55  “The Week That Was,” Yediot Aharonot, July 11, 2014, 46.

56 Report of a security official.

57 Take, for example, Neve Ya’akov Street, which faces Palestinian homes at a distance of dozens of meters.

58 Already in January 2004 with the arrest of Fadel Taha, a Hamas operative from the Ramallah area, it turned out that the terror organizations were engaged in transferring to the West Bank the knowledge on Qassams that had accumulated in Gaza. See an ISA publication: Sikum Shnot Ha’imut: Netunim v’Megamot b’Teror (Overview of the Years of Conflict: Data and Trends in Terror), 24-25; see also there on the discovery of a laboratory for Qassam production in Beitunia; see also the ISA publication Sikum shel 2005: Netunim v’Megamot Bateror Hafalestini (Overview of 2005: Data and Trends in Palestinian Terror), 3: “Pe’ilut Irgunei Hateror b’Yehuda v’Shomron, l’Bitzua Tashtiot Emtza’ei Lechima Tlul Maslul” (Activity of the Terror Organizations in Judea and Samaria to Create Infrastructures for High-Trajectory Weapons).

59 Aruri, born in 1966 in the village of Arura in the Ramallah area, is a member of the Hamas Political Bureau and in the past was responsible for prisoners affairs. In the 1990s he was one of the founders of the Hamas military wing in the West Bank. In 1992 he was arrested by Israel and sentenced to five years in prison for membership in a terror organization. After that he served various prison terms. On March 30, 2010, he was released after 18 months in prison as part of an agreement with him and was expelled from Israel. Aruri then relocated to Jordan, and from there to Syria. In Syria he was elected a member of the Hamas Political Bureau, responsible for prisoners affairs. Aruri was a member of the Hamas negotiating team in the Shalit deal.

Later, Aruri moved to Turkey, which gives Hamas political, declarative, and economic support. In Turkey he enjoys freedom of action and directs Hamas military-terrorist organizations in the West Bank. He is currently head of Hamas’ Foreign Headquarters for the West Bank Region (ISA, August 19, 2014).

60 See an article on Aruri from August 24, 2014, on the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center website (Hebrew):

61 Breaking-news report, Ynet, May 6, 2010.

62 Ofek Eini, “Harashut Pashat al Machsan Neshek Gadol shel Hamas b’Ramallah” (The Authority Has Raided a Large Hamas Weapons Stockpile in Ramallah),, October 24, 2010.

63 “Meot Emtza’ei Lechima Nechsafu b’Schechem” (Hundreds of Weapons Uncovered in Nablus), IDF website, June 18, 2014,

64 Gili Cohen, “93 Pe’ilei Hamas Chashudim b’Hakamat Tashti Teror Bagada” (93 Hamas Operatives Suspected of Setting Up a Terror Infrastructure in the West Bank), Haaretz website, August 18, 2014.

65 “A-Zahar: ‘Hamas Yeshachrer et Hagada kmo et Aza” (A-Zahar: Hamas Will Liberate the West Bank Just like Gaza”),, December 14, 2014.

66 See, e.g., “Abu Ala Me’iyem b’Intifada Chadasha” (Abu Ala Threatens a New Intifada), Arutz Sheva website, March 5, 2007. See also two studies by Palestinian Media Watch: “Shinui Mamash b’Yachas Hafalestinim l’Kdiyut Hateror” (A Real Change in the Palestinians’ Attitude toward the Practicality of Terror), Special Study no. 51, October 4, 2005; and on the same topic, Special Study no. 45, April 21, 2004.

67 Efraim Inbar, Ha’etgar Hafalestini mulo Nitzevet Yisrael (The Palestinian Challenge That Israel Faces), BESA Center, Bar-Ilan University, June 2007.

68 Based on map measurements and on familiarity with the locations.

69 Kimchi, “Hipardut.”

70 “Seker Maagar Mochot bekerev Ha’ochlusia Hayehudit Ba’ir” (Maagar Mochot Survey of the Jewish Population of the City), Yerushalayim, December 29, 2000.

71 Ibid., 10.

72 Those who met with him were Tzion Iluz, chairman of the Katamon Community Administration, Avi Alzam, chairman of the Shmuel Hanavi Community Administration, Ze’ev Lander, chairman of the Ramot Community Administration, Chaim Mordechai Weiner, chairman of the Ramat Shlomo Community Administration, Gabi Ganush, chairman of the Neve Yaakov Community Administration, and Eli Ben Chamo, chairman of the Pisgat Ze’ev Community Administration. This is based on documentation of the meeting.

73 Yerushalayim, December 29, 2000, 28.

74 He presented the information in February 2006.

75 Reports in the Israeli media, February 20-21, 2006.

76 Annex 7 of Yerushalayim: Zikot v’Gvulot (Jerusalem: Linkages and Boundaries), prepared by a professional team in 1982 for the Ministerial Committee for Jerusalem Affairs.

77 Kreunker, Yerushalayim, 58.

78 Ibid.

79 Lecture presented in a conference on the unity of Jerusalem at the Lander Institute, December 2007.

80 Yerushalayim: Zikot v’Gvulot.

81 “Ha’aluf Biran: Rak Retzef Teritoriali…” (Gen. Biran: Only Territorial Continuity…), Maariv, February 25, 1996, 15.