Security Cabinet measures: checkpoints in E. Jerusalem, reservists called up

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Checkpoints have been set up in areas of eastern Jerusalem and 1,400 Border Police reservist officers have been called up as part of new measures approved by Israel’s Cabinet to deal with the wave of terrorist attacks.

The Security Cabinet approved the measures on Tuesday night.

Also among the measures approved: no new construction will be permitted at the site where a terrorist’s home has been demolished; the property of attackers will be confiscated; and  300 additional security guards will be recruited for public transportation in Jerusalem.

The Cabinet also approved a request by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to refuse to return the bodies of Palestinian attackers killed by security personnel, in order to avoid turning their funerals into riots and demonstrations

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The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday approved a request by the Defense Ministry to call up the Border Police reserve officers; 850 are already on duty, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Also Wednesday, six Israel Defense Forces companies deployed in major Israeli cities hit by terror attacks in order to assist police forces.  Police also began setting up checkpoints from Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem to the rest of the city.

Human Rights Watch decried the Security Cabinet’s decisions.

“The recent spate of attacks on Israeli civilians would present a challenge for any police force,” said Sari Bashi, Israel/Palestine country director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. “But exacerbating the punitive policy of home demolitions is an unlawful and ill-considered response.”

She added: “Locking down east Jerusalem neighborhoods will infringe upon the freedom of movement of all Palestinian residents rather than being a narrowly tailored response to a specific concern.  The checkpoints are a recipe for harassment and abuse.”

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