Three months of security preparations come to a head for U.S. embassy move

Police are ready for "one of most intensive weeks" in Jerusalem.

May 13, 2018 15:09
2 minute read.

Jerusalem Police beefs up security ahead of US embassy move, May 13, 2018 (Reuters)

Jerusalem Police beefs up security ahead of US embassy move, May 13, 2018 (Reuters)


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Three months of security preparations will be put into place on Monday as the much-anticipated transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem goes ahead.

Israel Police foreign press spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post last week that police have been working in full cooperation with the US security services to ensure the event runs smoothly and according to plan.

The ceremony will be held on Monday afternoon, but security measures will be in place from the early hours of the day to prevent incidents from taking place around the embassy and the perimeter, Rosenfeld told the Post. The area will be cordoned off and the police’s focus is to secure the site and visitors to it, preventing any major incident, he said.

“Intensive measures will be taking place, [starting] from today in Jerusalem,” Rosenfeld said on Sunday, which was Jerusalem Day, during a conference call arranged by the Israel Project. He mentioned Damascus Gate, Jaffa Gate and Arab neighborhoods Jebel Mukaber and Sur Baher as areas that would be secured during the embassy events. “But we allow residents to come in and out according to security measures,” Rosenfeld said.
Israel delighted, Palestinians angered ahead of US embassy move to Jerusalem, May 13, 2018 (Reuters)

Several thousand officers will be involved in the security operations, including Border Police, special patrol units, responding units and counter-terrorism units.

“There is no specific information we have received about any major incidents that are scheduled to take place, but all necessary measures are being implemented to respond to any incidents that could take place,” Rosenfeld said, mentioning two demonstrations scheduled to take place in coordination with the police. “Individuals from Israeli Arab parties requested permits to protest and we, of course, gave them,” Rosenfeld said. Left-wing activists are also expected to protest against the transfer of the embassy.

In a week that started with Jerusalem Day and will then be followed by the embassy opening, Nakba Day, and the beginning of the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan, Rosenfeld referred to it as “one of most intensive weeks in terms of security coordination and complex issues that could come up.”

“We want to make sure that one thing doesn’t lead to another, meaning that if today is quiet in Jerusalem then hopefully tomorrow things will be quiet as well in terms of the police units and patrolling – and making sure that the event tomorrow will also take place quietly,” he said.
Protests ahead of US Embassy move to Jerusalem, May 13, 2018 (Reuters)

Outside of Israel as well extra security precautions are being taken during this sensitive week. A security source told the Post that Israeli air crews have received instructions to be on higher-than-usual-alert this week when abroad.

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