Israel to 'open police stations' in occupied East Jerusalem

Israel to 'open police stations' in occupied East Jerusalem
Israel says it will install five new police stations in a number of Palestinian neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.
2 min read
10 August, 2016
Israel occupied the territory of East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it [Getty]
Israel will open five new police stations in occupied East Jerusalem, authorities announced on Wednesday.

"Over the years, a large gap has opened between the western and eastern parts of the city in terms of policing, and that's the gap we want to fill with these new positions," Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan told the army radio.

"Our national sovereignty begins by exercising our sovereignty over Jerusalem," he added.

There are currently no Israeli police stations in Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, apart from in the historic Old City, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

The stations will be installed in the neighbourhoods of Ras al-Amud, Jabal Mukaber, Silwan, Issawiya and Sur Baher, which are often the scene of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces during tense periods.

Erdan said that the creation of these posts is part of a four-year plan that provides for the recruitment of 1,200 new police officers in Jerusalem.

Police official Yuval Ben Ami revealed that 200 officers had been recruited so far.

"We have a problem hiring police officers because some do not want to be deployed in [Palestinian] neighbourhoods," he said, adding they were seeking to increase salaries as a draw.

The status of East Jerusalem is one of the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel occupied the territory in 1967 and later annexed it and considers all the city under its authority.

The United Nations and the international community reject the Israeli control, and Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Jerusalem has been the heart of a wave of violence since last October in which more than 200 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire.

Thirty-four Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese also died.