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Diskin on Terror Threat in Jerusalem, Sinai (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) by Maayana Miskin 01/18/11) Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/141810
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While overall terrorist activity dropped in 2010, it remained high in Israel´s capital city of Jerusalem and the surrounding area, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) head Yuval Diskin said Tuesday at a meeting of the Knesset´s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
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Israel lacks control over several Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and the area is in effect a PA region, Diskin said, despite the fact that residents carry blue Israeli ID cards. That is true in particular for areas east of the Jerusalem separation/security barrier, he added.
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Some such neighborhoods are turning into lawless regions in which terrorists and PA Arabs who have illegally entered Jerusalem take refuge, Diskin said, adding that illegal building in those neighborhoods is very common.
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Terror Up in 1948 Israel
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More Arab citizens of Israel were found to be involved in terrorism over the past year than before, Diskin said, with 46 arrested in 2010 compared with 24 in 2009. However, he added, many of the arrests were connected to the discovery of a single terrorist cell in Nazareth and did not necessarily indicate a larger trend.
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Terrorism remains outside the Israeli-Arab consensus, but Israel must be careful, he continued. A failure to deal with increasing violence and illegal weapons trade in the Arab sector could lead to terrorism becoming more frequent in Arab communities.
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The Shin Bet is not allowed to fight the trade in weapons within the 1948 borders of Israel. According to court rulings, enforcement of weapons laws within Israeli territory is the sole responsibility of the police.
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Warning: Terrorists Seek Base in Sinai
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Diskin also warned that terrorists see the Sinai Peninsula as a preferred base of activities. “The level of Egyptian governance in the Sinai is very low,” he said, leaving the region vulnerable to a rise in terrorism.
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He criticized Egyptian authorities for doing too little to fight terrorism. “Their shared border with Gaza is 14 kilometers long... If they wanted to, they could end smuggling in 24-48 hours.” Instead, he said, “the Egyptians are determined to prevent [smuggling] only when there is a significant threat to Egyptian national security, and even then, there are just pinpoint operations.”
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More than 400 Jewish-Arab Clashes
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Diskin also revealed data on the extent of clashes between Jews and PA Arabs in Judea and Samaria. On more than 400 occasions, Jews were involved in fighting PA Arabs or committing acts of vandalism, he said. Sixteen of those were acts of more serious vandalism, such as arson, associated with the “Price Tag” activists – a group seeking to fight both PA terrorism and the destruction of Jewish homes by forcing the PA and the IDF to “pay the price” for any such actions.(© IsraelNN Syndications 01/18/11)
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