Aharonovitch: Mass rioting by Palestinians not inevitable

"There's no need to create exaggerated expectations"; says Border Police, not IDF, could do better job securing Egyptian border

Border policemen near Ramallah_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Border policemen near Ramallah_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
Mass rioting and violent disturbances are by no means inevitable if (and when) the Palestinian Authority submits its request for statehood recognition, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said on Monday in Jerusalem.
“There’s no need to create exaggerated expectations,” he said.
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“Preparations are complete. I took the worst-case scenario, which involves large-scale disturbances, casualties and damages, and asked police to prepare for it, with the hope that we don’t face this. I also looked at better scenarios. Police are trained and the needed equipment has been procured,” the minister added.
The minister said he was optimistic that Arab leaders understood the need to prevent demonstrations from going out of control.
He said that Friday – which is when PA President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to deliver a speech to the UN and the time of weekly prayers at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – would be a sensitive day.
Aharonovitch said the border with Egypt had to be “closed as soon as possible,” adding that “2,000 illegal migrants were coming in every month.”
He cited both security and crime concerns due to the open border, and said he believed the government had made a mistake when it decided to disband the southern Border Police force that was responsible for securing the border and replacing it with IDF forces.
“I think the Border Police can do a much better job securing the area,” he added.
“My position was not accepted.”