A view of the Western Wall, the Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
More than 3,500 policemen will patrol Jerusalem during Passover and Easter with an emphasis on the Old City, where some 150,000 visitors from around the globe are expected to gather at the Western Wall and in the Christian Quarter.
Following two recent stabbing attacks in the Muslim Quarter, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said security will be at its highest level to ensure the public’s safety.
“The Israel Police has made security assessments since the most recent knife attack last Saturday,” said Rosenfeld on Thursday. “We are going to implement extra security, although there have been no concrete threats received by police.”
According to Rosenfeld, some 1,500 extra officers from various units will be on hand for the duration of both holidays. “We have mapped out the different areas and will mobilize units in the Old City and all public places and public events,” he said. “What is unique this year is that Passover and Easter are happening at the same time.”
For the Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall on the morning of April 13, Rosenfeld said more than 100,000 Jews are expected. For the Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter on April 15, he said more than 50,000 Christians are expected.
“Police will ensure the security and ease of travel for the tens of thousands of visitors entering and exiting the Old City,” he said, noting that there will be close coordination with multiple churches and synagogues.
Rosenfeld added that all units would be in constant communication with officers at the Old City’s police headquarters at Jaffa Gate, who will be observing all activity in all four quarters using nearly 400 high definition CCTV cameras.
“Information of any potential suspects or incidents will be conveyed in real time and responded to immediately,” he said.
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