Arab clan hired to guard Jewish Mt. Olives cemetery
Protection racket? Police and ISA decided to ‘experimentally’ hire the services of a local clan to prevent vandalism of graves.
By Gil Ronen
The Israeli government has reportedly hired Arabs from the Ras el-Amoud neighborhood to guard over the Mount of Olives cemetery, upon the advice of the police and Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet). The ancient cemetery has been plagued by rampant Arab vandalism for years, and many Jews fear going there because of frequent rock and firebomb ambushes on the roads approaching the cemetery.
The Arabs hired as guards are reportedly three members of the local ‘Ith clan. Jerusalem Councilor Aryeh King has opposed the measure, saying that the three do not actually spend much time at the site, and that the way they were hired looks more like a protection racket than anything else.
Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, director of the Council of Cemeteries in Jerusalem, told Arutz Sheva that the Arabs were hired as a temporary “experiment” until a fence is built along three kilometers of the cemetery’s perimeter. He stressed that they are only tasked with preventing vandalism at the grave sites, while the Israel Police and Border Police are in charge of providing security along the road leading to the cemetery, and the Ministry of Construction and Housing provides escorts for families that visit the Mount for funerals or memorials.
Horowitz said that security at the cemetery
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