JERUSALEM (Aug. 5)
Following its offensive against Jewish settlements in the administered territories, the new Rabin government has targeted Jewish strongholds in the heart of the Moslem Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Police Minister Moshe Shahal announced Tuesday that students of the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva in the Moslem Quarter are residing there unlawfully.
The yeshiva had taken over two buildings in the quarter two years ago, after the buildings had been confiscated from their Arab owners “for security purposes.” With the help of the Housing Ministry, the yeshiva students and their families had then taken up residence in the buildings.
In making the announcement, Shahal said that as long as the buildings were not being occupied by their original owners, they could only be used by Israeli security forces.
Therefore, suggested Shahal, the buildings’ Jewish tenants should remove themselves from the premises.
Knesset Member Hanan Porat of the National Religious Party reacted strongly, saying that the government was following the lead of Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek, who “missed no opportunity to narrow the steps of the Jewish residents in the Old City.”