Israeli Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter told Israel National News on Monday that the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is abandoning large parts of eastern Jerusalem.
Dichter said several neighborhoods on the Arab-dominated side of Jerusalem are today completely without an Israeli police presence. That has allowed Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups to move in.
Dichter said this is particularly worrying in light of the drastic increase over the past year in the number of Jerusalem Arabs involved in acts of anti-Jewish terrorism.
Olmert has publicly expressed his willingness and even desire to surrender the eastern half of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority, and some saw the removal of police forces from these areas as a tactic to convince Israelis that they should cut loose parts of their ancient capital.
Recent public opinion polls show that the vast majority of Israelis remain opposed to surrendering any part of Jerusalem.