Terror warning has Jerusalem on high alert for 3 hours

“This was specific information we received, and police responded immediately in order to maintain public safety,” spokesman says.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
October 25, 2011 01:53
2 minute read.
Border Police forces [file]

Border Police forces 311 (R). (photo credit: Ammar Awad / Reuters)

 
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Police raised the terror alert in the capital on Monday afternoon for three hours in response to intelligence information of a possible terrorist attack.

A temporary command center for police coordination was established in a tent next to the International Convention Center (Binyanei Hauma) as helicopters hovered overhead, before it was dismantled in the early evening.

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Police received the intelligence in the early afternoon, and the alert was raised at 2 p.m. A number of police and border police units were mobilized in different neighborhoods across the city.

“This was specific information we received, and police responded immediately in order to maintain public safety,” said National Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

Traffic was heavy in many areas due to increased security measures.

Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby insisted that the three stabbing incidents in the past six days were not connected with each other or with the heightened terror alert on Monday. He added that the terror alert was also not connected to the prisoner swap for Gilad Schalit, which some politicians and activists claimed would inspire a new wave of terrorist attacks.



The heightened alert comes just two days after a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood on Saturday afternoon, that left 17-year-old Yehuda Ne’emad in serious condition. It was just one of three incidents involving stabbing attempts or attacks in five days.

On Sunday, a Palestinian armed with a 14- centimeter knife was arrested by Border Police at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Jerusalem. The man said he had intended to launch a knife attack on Israelis on the site.

Last Wednesday, a Palestinian woman was arrested at the Gush Etzion Junction after charging a group of soldiers and civilians waiting at a bus stop and brandishing a knife while yelling “Death to Jews!” There were no injuries.

A defense source said the security establishment was not viewing the recent stabbing attempts and incident as a coordinated wave of attacks.

“They’re not planned or directly related,” the source said Sunday.

Rosenfeld said that the police and army deal with dozens of similar raised terror alerts throughout the year, and the terror alert is always raised during the Passover and High Holidays, as well as Ramadan and the summer months.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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