Deputy mayor of Israel’s Jerusalem municipality, Meir Turjeman, has announced the suspension of all construction activity in Arab parts of the city, Israeli Radio reported.
The move, announced Monday night, came in response to a Sunday shooting attack in East Jerusalem in which two Israelis were killed and another six injured.
“The Arab people of Jerusalem want to kill us; why do we want to give them another opportunity? They will not change,” Turjeman, who heads the municipality’s planning and construction committee, told Israeli Radio.
“We should take responsibility,” he asserted. “I have therefore ordered the suspension of all construction [activity] in all Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.”
“The Israeli government says [we should adopt a] ‘stick and carrot policy’,” he added. “No more carrots for the Palestinians — only sticks.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, for his part, has since clarified that Turgeman’s remarks were not made in consultation with him and did not reflect municipality policy.
In a related development, Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency on Tuesday arrested an alleged Hamas operative, who, the agency claimed, had been planning to carry out terrorist attacks in Jerusalem.
According to a statement issued by the agency, Fuaz Ibrahim Julani, a resident of Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp, had planned — among other things — to carry out a suicide bombing on a passenger bus.
On Sunday, two Israelis were killed and another six injured after they were shot at a tram station near Israeli police headquarters in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.
The alleged attacker, later identified as Mesbah Abo Sbeah, a 39-year-old Palestinian resident of Jerusalem, was shot dead by Israeli police.
According to Palestinian figures, more than 240 Palestinians have been killed since an uptick in Israeli-Palestinian violence — which some are calling a third ‘Intifada’ (‘uprising’) — began one year ago.
Israel, for its part, says 42 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian attackers over the same period.