News Break – Report from Jerusalem

“Extremely optimistic we will overcome this wave.”  Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat attends a red beret ceremony at Ammunition Hill. October 15, 2015. Credit: Jewish National Fund.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat attends a red beret ceremony at Ammunition Hill. October 15, 2015. Credit: Jewish National Fund.

Today, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat provided a situation briefing in a conference call organized by the Jewish National Fund.

Some key comments and thoughts:

>  By the way, 3.5 million Muslims have prayed on the Temple Mount this year.

>  Incitement by the Palestinian Authority is contributing to the “indiscriminate” violence. So, there is a great need to combat lies and incitement being spread across social media, the Arab press and international media.

>  Police have been distributed across the city to combat the “sporadic” violence.

>  Proactively addressing submitted conference call questions and in response to media reports about civilians carrying guns in Jerusalem, Barkat reiterated his views:

Israel benefits from having highly trained civilians supplement security forces in Jerusalem.  These are “professional combat” trained ex-Army or Reserve citizens who have a license to carry a gun and can help “neutralize terrorists.”  Barkat characterized this as a “positive, excellent response in Israel.”  At the same time, he clearly expressed that this is a “terrible idea in America for residents” because of the lack of firearms/military training.

>  Barkat has been meeting with principals in East Jerusalem, local leaders and councils to help tamp down the incitement and violence.  He reports that these leaders “want to reduce violence.”

>  The best way to fight terrorism: don’t be deterred from going on with regular life and activities.

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