(photo credit: Courtesy of Israel Police )
Security forces have identified an increase in terror plots targeting southern
Israel, due in part to the weakening of Egyptian authorities, police
Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino said in Herzliya on
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Danino cited “the weakness of authorities in Egypt” as a factor
that is being exploited by extremist elements “to plot cross-border terror
attacks on Israel.” He spoke at the 11th annual conference held by the Herzliya
Interdisciplinary Center’s Institute for Counter- Terrorism.
we are seeing a lot of tension on the borders. We are identifying motives
and broader-based intentions to carry out attacks against Israel. The weakened
Egyptian government obviously means difficulties in coordinating security, and
also the gaps in security are being exploited by terrorist elements. The last
incident that occurred at the Israeli Embassy in Egypt was another example of
the fragile situation,” Danino said.
The police chief describes recent
acts of terrorism within Israel as “a preparation for us for further expected
He noted that the police’s Yamam Counterterrorism Unit acted
swiftly together with the IDF to contain the terrorists who infiltrated the
country from Sinai and murdered eight Israelis north of Eilat last month, adding
that the swift response “saved the situation, despite the fact that lives were
Danino cited instability in Syria as another explosive situation
that has “its own implications for the complex and already delicate situation in
the Middle East.”
Addressing the looming UN recognition of a Palestinian
state, Danino said he expected Israeli Arabs and Palestinians “to demonstrate in
support of a declaration.
“In such a case, I will order police to act
with demonstrators in the same way they acted with housing protesters – with
patience and sensitivity, while encouraging dialogue to prevent a
deterioration,” he said.
At the same time, he stressed, “Any violation of
the law or public order, or any sign of violence, will be dealt by us
immediately and without compromise.
“September poses a new kind of
challenge for the Israel Police. Every incident such as this as an explosive
potential and the police must plan out its moves wisely.”
police held a drill in southern Israel in which major disturbances were
simulated and responses to them were evaluated.
The exercise contained a
number of scenarios and was held to test the police’s readiness for mass
The Abraham Fund, which works to improve relations between police
and the Arab community, welcomed Danino’s words.
“These are important
comments that should be welcomed,” the fund said, adding that it hoped they
would have an impact on the ground.
The fund also asked members of the
Arab community to “realize the democratic right to peaceful and lawful
Police have in recent years set up 16 special command centers
around the country that are tasked with training and mobilizing riot police and
ensuring that disturbances are quelled swiftly, without the use of deadly
Each command center is in charge of 300 officers, creating a
national response force of 4,800 officers ready to deal with large
The riot police force is backed up by 2,000 additional
officers who are being trained as a reserve anti-riot force.