The International Committee for Har Hazeisim (ICHH) has lodged an official complaint with the Israeli Police after a security fence dividing Har Hazeisim and the adjacent Arab neighborhood of A-Sheikh was breeched. The area just below the Afghanistan and Taiman chelkas used to be a thoroughfare for Arab vehicles crisscrossing the cemetery until it was closed with a new security fence ringing the Eastern section of the cemetery. The fence was the result of almost three years of lobbying by the ICHH.
Over the weekend, ICHH representatives learned that the fence was torn down by Arab vandals and that vehicles were once again crossing through a road in the cemetery that was appropriately named “Derech Levayot,” Abe Lubinsky, chairman of the ICHH said that the incident is “disappointing after a long period of relative calm in the cemetery which had restored public confidence and resulted in as many as 2500 visitors a day.” Lubinsky blamed the relocation of the border police from the Afghanistan chelka as one reason for the bold move by the local Arabs. The border police moved to the area near Colel Polen and Ger leaving the fence area without any security force.
Lubinsky noted that the police had originally played large boulders to prevent the through traffic but that it was later replaced with a fence when the entire area received a new fence. “The police must immediately restore the concrete barriers and the border police to prevent the neighboring Arabs from reigning on the holiest Jewish cemetery,” said Lubinsky.