US Vice President Mike Pence at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt, January 20, 2018 (Reuters/Khaled Desouki/Pool).
(photo credit: REUTERS/KHALED DESOUKI)
Thousands of Israel Police and Border Police officers and volunteers will be deployed throughout the capital on Sunday afternoon, to provide security for the visit of US Vice President Mike Pence.
The police said that they have finished their preparations and are ready to hold the national operation, dubbed “Blue Shield 2.”
Pence’s visit to Israel is planned to last less than 48 hours, starting on Sunday night and ending on Tuesday evening, in which he will address the Knesset, meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visit Yad Vashem and the Western Wall.
Police started preparations for the operation several weeks ago. Policemen will be deployed around the area of Jerusalem and the main routes leading to the capital.
“Preparations were made in joint cooperation with American security – the Secret Service’s security,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post
“There will be a wide-range of police units, including Border Police units, special patrol units, motorcycle units and undercover personnel, which will be in one of the different areas,” he added.
US President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month has sparked riots all over the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The declaration also caused a rift between the US and the Palestinian Authority.
However, Rosenfeld said that the police do not have any specific indication of planned riots in the eastern parts of the city.
“There is no intelligence of any specific event that should take place, but of course police are taking into consideration that sporadic demonstrations – both pro and against the vice president – could take place. Our units are prepared to deal with any small or large scale incident that could develop,” he said.
During the visit, police are prohibiting all kinds of drones in the capital and in the area of Ben-Gurion Airport.
Regarding roads closures and traffic restrictions, police said that updates will be provided via social media.