Israel Police raise level of readiness for national elections

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March 15, 2015 17:17
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The Israel Police ordered all their districts on high alert on Sunday as part of a nationwide operation to secure the elections on Tuesday for the 20th Knesset.

The national headquarters of the Israel Police said officers will be reinforced on Election Day by thousands of Border Patrol officers and volunteer police, who will patrol the more than 10,000 voting stations in 1,282 towns and cities across Israel.

The officers will focus on the same array of threats they do at any major public event – preventing a terror attack, preventing public disturbances, and managing traffic among others. Traffic will be a major concern in that Election Day is a national holiday and Israelis are expected to clamor to national parks and recreation areas nationwide.

The Israel Prison Service is also gearing up for the election, with around 10,000 non-security prisoners eligible to vote at 56 voting stations set up at facilities across the country. Sivan Weizmann of the Israel Prison Service said Sunday that for the past two weeks their education branch has been speaking to prisoners about voting, in order to raise awareness and increase the turnout. She added that in the January 2013 national election, the prisoner turnout was 70%, higher than the national average of around 63%.

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