Israeli border police secure an alley following a stabbing attack inside the old city of Jerusalem April 1, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Police have finalized enhanced security preparations in the Old City for the final Friday of Ramadan, less than one week after a terrorist stabbed to death a female Border Police officer guarding the Damascus Gate.
Noting that tens of thousands of Muslims from the West Bank and east Jerusalem will gather at al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Wednesday that special units will be on hand to ensure there is no violence.
“Police have made security assessments and measurements for the last Friday of Ramadan when thousands of Palestinians will make their way to the Old City from the Bethlehem and Kalandia crossings from the early morning until the late afternoon,” said Rosenfeld.
“Increased security will continue – and be felt in and around the area of the Old City – with an emphasis on Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter as well as the outskirts of the capital. Border police and special patrol units will prevent any security-related incidents.”
Rosenfeld added that after Friday prayers, police will continue heightened security measures in the area for Shabbat.
“Border Police and other units are leaving nothing to chance, and will immediately respond to any incidents if necessary,” he said.
During a Monday tour of the site of last Friday’s attacks that killed St.-Sgt-Maj. Hadas Malka, 23, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh vowed that Jerusalem will not become a police state.
“The biggest challenge is to bring life back to normal as quickly as possible,” he said.
“As important as upgrading security is, it should be combined with the ability to maintain a regular life. Our challenge is to provide service and security without creating a contradiction between them.”
Alsheikh added: “There is no intention of turning Jerusalem into a military fortress that is not pleasant to enter and travel in, both for Israelis and for tourists from all over the world.”