Peres coffin motorcade .
(photo credit: COURTESY ISRAEL POLICE)
The police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on Thursday completed preparations for an unprecedented operation to protect over 70 world leaders who are arriving for Shimon Peres’s funeral.
The domestic intelligence agency said its officers will provide an “intelligence and technological envelope, which includes the use of advanced technological means.”
The Shin Bet described the operation as “unprecedented,” adding that it was being led by the VIP Protection Unit. Twenty presidents, five other heads of states, 15 foreign ministers, and numerous additional dignitaries are expected to attend Friday’s funeral on the capital’s Mount Herzl.
Hundreds of Shin Bet Security Branch personnel will, together with the Israel Police, form overt and covert circles of defense, the agency said. The operation began on Thursday, and will end when the world leaders leave the country.
The Shin Bet is in touch with counterparts from around the world to coordinate security arrangements.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced that security assessments have been finalized, including at Mount Herzl, the Knesset, Ben-Gurion Airport, and the various hotels where the world leaders will be staying.
“This operation consists of police preparations put together in a short time,” Erdan said. “I was impressed that the preparation is a professional and high-alert operation, but we are still in a sensitive period, including terrorist threats and incitement on social networks.”
Erdan added that he has instructed the police to monitor all social networks in an effort to identify terrorists to avert a “lone wolf” attack, or a provocation that could be directed toward the visiting leaders.
According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, Erdan was briefed on four primary security issues: “routine security, traffic, public order, and criminal issues.
“Altogether, 8,000 police officers are taking part in the two-day operation,” said Rosenfeld, adding that additional security units, such as ambulances and fire and rescue services, have been reinforced by dozens of teams.
Israel Police Commissioner Insp.- Gen. Roni Alsheikh said it is a sensitive and large-scale effort.
“We are conducting a complicated security operation in full coordination with all security organizations, the IDF, the Defense Ministry, MDA, and government offices,” said Alsheikh.
“Coordination and cooperation are essential to the success of the whole event, while maintaining public safety and allowing the public to continue regular activities. All this is being implemented alongside police preparations across the country for the Jewish New Year holiday next week.”
Rosenfeld said security will remain heightened throughout the capital.
The public is instructed to call 110 for any emergency assistance during the next two days.