Transportation Minister Israel Katz launches a civilian security unit in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: SASSON TIRAM)
Aiming to prevent terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, Transportation Minister Israel Katz launched a civilian security unit on Sunday that will be stationed along public transportation routes around the capital.
In its first phase, the 300-person unit includes security guards, former combat soldiers and dozens of special security vehicles, which will operate along traffic arteries and between public transportation stops during all bus operation hours, the Transportation Ministry said.
The guards have been equipped with uniforms, handguns, walkie-talkies and certificates issued by the Israel Police – authorizing them to conduct body and luggage searches as well as detain suspicious parties, the ministry added.
“Your mission is to act with decisiveness and responsibility,” Katz told the guards on Sunday. “On one hand, with decisiveness to prevent in every way possible all injuries or threats to public transportation passengers, and on the other hand, to act responsibly.”
The unit, which was established with the approval of the security cabinet, will be conducting both undercover operations and activities out in the open, according to the ministry. Members of the unit were specially recruited, and all have passed rigorous screening exams and have undergone specialized professional training in shooting, krav maga self-defense, identifying suspects and first aid.
“The essence of preparation and correct operation of the security guard can reduce the threat to a minimum and even prevent it,” Katz said.