Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered Israel’s security services to consider turning the historic Damascus Gate in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem into a “sterile zone”.
According to yesterday’s Israel Hayom newspaper, the Israeli prime minister told officials at a security meeting on Saturday to examine the possibility of tightening security measures around the Gate. Such measures should mean that “anyone passing through would face more rigorous security screening.” He told his officials at Sunday’s cabinet meeting that the police have been instructed to reinforce security arrangements and checking procedures in the plaza around Damascus Gate.
The Israeli authorities have imposed a series of security measures following a stabbing carried out by three Palestinian men near Damascus Gate on Friday. An Israeli policewoman was killed in the attack, following which the gateway into the Old City was declared to be a closed area. The military presence was reinforced and vehicles were prevented from entering; shop owners were ordered to close for the day.
Netanyahu also ordered an increase in the number of Israeli troops across occupied Jerusalem, “in anticipation of any further attacks.”