CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem are increasingly problematic, Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin told ministers at Sunday's Cabinet meeting.
According to Diskin, Hamas cells embedded in east Jerusalem neighborhoods pose more of a security risk than in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).
Diskin noted that 30 civilians have been killed since the beginning of the year, a direct result of increased terror activity in Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, up from 13 terror-related deaths in 2007.
Arab Israelis carried out half of the fatal terror attacks.
Israeli security forces have a harder time entering the Shuafat neighborhood in northern Jerusalem than the West Bank city of Jenin, the Shin Bet chief said.
Diskin also said Hamas is continually increasing its presence in east Jerusalem neighborhoods, especially in Abu Dis and Azariya (Bethany), located outside the security fence.
Because many Arabs holding Israeli identity cards have moved to neighborhoods inside the fence, Arabs from Palestinian Authority- (PA) controlled cities in Judea and Samaria are moving into the empty houses.
While the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operates in PA areas in Judea and Samaria, neither the IDF nor the police are active in Jerusalem neighborhoods, which allows terrorist elements to increase there.
Diskin said existing methods of deterrence need to be revised to prevent what Shin Bet is calling "popular terrorism" -- attacks carried out by individuals unaffiliated with specific terror groups.
Also in the formula are efforts by Gaza-based terrorists to export attacks to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
Diskin said besides the four terror attacks carried out in the nation's capital this year, security forces thwarted 12 other planned attacks.
"These numbers are an indication of a problem in east Jerusalem," Diskin said.
Source: The Jerusalem Post