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THE ISRAEL REPORT

January/February 2000
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MK Benny Elon: IMMEDIATE DANGER TO JERUSALEM’S RESIDENTS
Translated by Ruth J. Lieberman - Thursday, February 03, 2000

I certainly hope that the citizens of Israel and residents of Jerusalem do not buy the message that the Barak Government is trying to sell. I hope that they don’t remain apathetic. We have reached the point, thank G-d, that 200,000 ‘settlers’ live in Jerusalem, in the neighborhoods of Ramot, Ramat Shlomo, Neve Yaacov, Pisgat Ze’ev, Ramat Eshkol, Gilo and also Maaleh Adumim, which is outside of the Jerusalem city limits.

#1 Jerusalem neighborhoods in immediate danger

Residents of some of these areas face great, immediate danger. There is a grave danger to Ramat Shlomo if Bet Hanina and areas north of Shuafat become Area A (under full PA control). There is immediate danger to the Atarot district if the surrounding areas become Area A. If A-Ram and Dhiat-el-Barid become Area A, it will greatly endanger residents of Neve Yaacov who already suffer at the hands of their neighbors.

If, G-d forbid, Abu Dis and Azam, located at the foot of the army checkpoint adjacent to Mount Scopus, are transferred to Area A, Maaleh Adumim will be in danger. And the beautiful Ramot neighborhood, secure and demure, will face immediate danger if the neighboring village of Bet Ichsa becomes Area A - Ramot is to its north, while the village touches the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, potentially cutting off Ramot from the rest of Jerusalem.

#2 What is Area A?

What happens to an area that becomes Area A? People like to believe this is just some unimportant code, but in reality areas transferred to Area A become like Ramallah and Bethlehem. A stolen car can disappear into that area within seconds. Although security actions in Area B are extremely complicated, car thiefs can sometimes be caught, whereas in Area A, there is no entrance to Israel’s police force. Current statistics put the figures of stolen cars at eight per minute, while we will see an increase to one stolen every five minutes, and just as quickly as the car disappears, the killer, thief, rapist or robber disappears too. Areas A are safe-houses, where the army and police are refused entrance. If the army dare to enter Area A, it would lead to a full-blown international incident.

#3 Attempted rhetoric

Haim Ramon is the master of rhetoric, who covers up the fact with a sweet smile. There are those who believe him when he says that he will not touch the municipal areas of Jerusalem, just the borders and outskirts. However, all those who live in these neighborhoods know of what I speak. Residents of Neve Yaakov know that Dhiat-el-Barid lies within walking distance from the #25 Egged bus line and from the IDF army base. Until now, if there was a serious problem the police could go in, and in the event of a severe incident the army could enter. If this situation changes, and the area becomes Area A, the army will not be allowed in, even if there are weapons stocked there. The residents of Ramat Shlomo also know of what I speak: they live next to Arab houses, from which Jews are shot even today. If these houses are transferred to Area A, there will be a very real threat to their lives, because the police and army cannot enter. Or, for example, look at Maaleh Adumim – there are currently two roads will lead to this neighborhood, the old road past Azariah and Abu Dis, and the new road that supposedly is quiet but actually touches Azam, which could also G-d forbid, become Area A.

#4 Call to action

The ramifications are immediate: 200,000 Israeli citizens are not aware that they are ‘settlers’ – for they don’t travel in protected cars, aren’t connected to local area walkie-talkies in case of trouble on the roads, do not live within a fence or in an atmosphere of settlement activity. These people travel on regular bus lines, taking the 25 to Neve Yaacov or the 31 to the Gilo neighborhood in southern Jerusalem, just like any other Jerusalem resident. They will feel the changes which were scheduled for this week and were delayed a bit.

Public awareness is of vital importance, and I would like to praise all those who are waking up to the dangers facing Jerusalem. I hope and believe that the many Jerusalemites and Israelis will understand that the time has come – people such as Moshe Feiglin and ‘Zu Artzeinu’ who demonstrated this week for the heart of Jerusalem; those planning a big demonstration in Zion Square about the dangers inherent in transferring land to palestinians and into Area A; the great prayer planned by haredi Jews wishing to cry out to G-d in a central prayer at the Kotel. I believe that all of these come from the Jewish heart, and from the public awareness demonstrated by people who don’t buy the lies, the trickery and the cover-up attempts of my friends Haim Ramon and Ben-Ami, who trick the public and perhaps even themselves. They say that the issue is not exactly Jerusalem, but all of these neighborhoods are Jerusalem.

With G-d’s help, we will raise Jerusalem at the head of our rejoicing, and we will hear news of salvation and comfort.

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