US flags prepared ahead of Obama visit 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Top security commanders from the Israel Police held a press conference at the
Border Police headquarters in Jerusalem Monday afternoon to address ongoing
preparations and the public’s questions regarding US President Barack Obama’s
trip to Israel, which begins on Wednesday.
“This is the most important
and significant visit to this country since former president George W. Bush came
in 2008 and Pope Benedict XVI came in 2009,” said Israel Police spokesman Micky
“Israeli police are taking no chances whatsoever during this
visit to ensure the president is safe and that everything goes as
With the help of a PowerPoint presentation, Maj.-Gen. Nissim
Mor, the head of the Operational Department for the Israel Police, delineated
scheduled road closings and openings and introduced a hotline, website and
Facebook page for the public to keep all abreast of activities involving the US
president’s two-day stay.
“We have created a 24-hour hotline to answer
any questions the public has during President Obama’s visit, which can be
reached at 1-700-553-100, as well as a website at www.police.gov.il and Facebook
page at www.facebook.com/israelpolice to answer any questions anyone may have
about this operation,” said Mor, as he illuminated the information on a large
He then showed a map detailing the route Obama’s motorcade,
dubbed “The Beast,” will take, as well as the numerous street closings scheduled
throughout the city.
“Through this information, the public will be
informed immediately of all traffic activity, road closings, openings and any
other relevant information pertaining to [Obama’s] trip,” he
Rosenfeld said 15,000 officers from every unit within the Israel
Police were assigned to Obama’s security detail.
“We have been preparing
for this visit for the last few weeks,” he said.
“Units assigned to the
president will include special patrol, undercover, helicopter, rapid response,
counter-terrorism and motorcycle.”
Rosenfeld added that the helicopter
unit will be filming all movements on the ground in real time, footage that will
be simultaneously broadcast to the central command center, overseen by senior
“If any split-second changes need to be made in case
of a protest or any other potential obstacle, the central command center at
police headquarters will immediately coordinate every unit’s movement, down to
the second, and the public will know about it,” he said.
the high concentration of police in Jerusalem to guard the president will harm
the safety of other parts of the country, Rosenfeld said there was no need for
“Police issues will continue normally in Jerusalem and other parts
of the country,” he assured. “There is enough manpower to maintain normal
operations. All police units will be fully functional.”
visits the Palestinian territories, Rosenfeld said security will be transferred
to American personnel in coordination with the Palestinian Authority security