Yerushalayim – Moshe (Chico) Edri, Yerushalayim’s new police commander, vowed to “bring order to the Har Hazeisim area” during a tour of the 3000-year old cemetery on Sunday. Commander Edri was accompanied by MK Menachem Eliezer Moses (UTJ), Avrohom Lubinsky, Chairman of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeisim, as well as Harvey Schwartz and Jeff Daube of the Israel section of the ICPHH.
Mr. Edri promised to add significant manpower to the police substation on Har Hazeisim as well as to add more surveillance cameras. Since taking office a month ago, Mr. Edri said, more than 80 arrests were made of rock throwers and perpetrators who destroyed graves including those responsible for the wanton destruction of 41 graves in the Ger chelka during Rosh Hashanah and Sukkos. In the last 48 hours, Edri’s team arrested 10 Arab youths responsible for throwing rocks at a bus and for breaking tombstones. He has also arrested several parents of youths responsible for the rock-throwing. “They will not know peace until we know peace,” the new commander pledged.
Mr. Lubinsky praised the new commander for his strong words but noted that “the police in the area cannot be deployed on a hit and miss basis.” He added: “It is a neighborhood that requires consistent policing and we know that whenever the police are deployed incidents fall to near zero.” In response, the commander said that while it may at times appear “that we do not go after the perpetrators, you can be sure that we will pull them out of bed once we identify who they are.”
In addition to the tour with Commander Edri, Mr. Lubinsky conducted meetings with officials of the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Prime Minister’s Office in an effort to further the security and development needs of the holy cemetery. He said that ambitious plans were proceeding for a number of projects that will dramatically change the aesthetic and security of the area.