IDF to deploy 300 soldiers to secure Jerusalem’s public transportation system

Finance Ministry to allocate NIS 80 million for extra security until civilian force trained.

Israeli bus that went up in flames after being struck by a Molotov cocktail in Ras el-Amoud (photo credit: JERUSALEM FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES)
Israeli bus that went up in flames after being struck by a Molotov cocktail in Ras el-Amoud
The Transportation Ministry announced on Thursday that the IDF will deploy 300 soldiers to Jerusalem on Sunday to provide enhanced security provisions for the capital’s endangered public transportation system, which has been targeted by recent terrorist attacks.
The decision follows Tuesday’s knife and gun attack, which killed two Jewish men and wounded three other passengers riding an Egged bus in Armon Hanatziv, and a Wednesday night knife attack at the capital’s central bus station, which wounded an Israeli woman in her 70s.
Wednesday’s assailant was shot dead by police, while one of the two terrorists in the Armon Hanatziv attack was killed by police before the other was arrested.
In a statement, the ministry said that Transportation Minister Israel Katz has been holding intensive talks with all the nation’s relevant security authorities since last week, after a marked escalation in violence.
“It should be noted that the Transportation Ministry has secured a comprehensive operational plan for public transport in advance,” the statement said, adding that the security cabinet approved Katz’s initiative on Wednesday.
Katz said the Defense Ministry agreed to deploy the 300 soldiers in the capital for a minimum of one month, at a cost of NIS 80 million, until a civilian security force is trained. The Transportation Ministry said it will work closely with the Israel Police and IDF, adding that the funds will be allocated by the Finance Ministry.
In line with the security cabinet’s decision, the IDF sent six companies to support police in its missions in Israeli cities on Wednesday. The companies will cooperate with police units and hold joint missions with them, the IDF said.
Security reinforcements will also be provided by the Prisons Service, according to a statement on Thursday.
The organization said they will provide 400 officers taken from the Metzada emergency response unit, as well as the Nachshon unit – responsible for escorting prisoners – in addition to a number of prison guards going through advanced training programs.
Prisons Service said the 400 officers are undergoing training at the police academy in Beit Shemesh, and that in the coming days they will be deployed to back up Israel Police officers where needed.