Alert level raised to second highest

Police swing into action to prevent opening of terrorist 'third front.'

moshe karadi 88.298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
moshe karadi 88.298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Following the Wednesday morning attack on an IDF patrol and ensuing firefights that left eight soldiers dead and two captured, the police and the prisons service raised the alert level to the second highest, one level below a state of emergency, as they swung into action to prevent a third front from being opened - by Palestinian terrorists within Israel's cities. In light of the security situation, Israel Police Insp.-Gen Moshe Karadi instructed all of the districts, as well as the Border Police and the Traffic Division, to increase security operations throughout seam line areas as well as in cities. The increased operations include rolling and stationary checkpoints, patrols and security checks, with an emphasis on a high-visibility police presence at public transportation sites as well as crowded areas. In the hours after the attacks, which occurred near the Western Galilee moshav of Zar'it, Palestinian prisoners in the Damon and Shikma Prisons expressed happiness, and wardens heard cries of joy after the prisoners found out that the soldiers had been captured and taken to Lebanon. The Prisons Service said that wardens responded swiftly and firmly, immediately punishing the prisoners. Prisons Service spokeswoman Orit Stetzler said that the IPS hoped that swift, decisive reactions would reduce such occurrences in the future, and described the incident as "exceptional" and a "disturbance of prison discipline." Like other security forces, the IPS also increased the alert level within the prisons. Wardens received briefings about Wednesday's incidents and were given special instructions to exercise operational alertness. One of the main goals of the IPS planning, said Stetzler, was to prevent the day's events from spilling over into the jails. The IPS held a second situation assessment later Wednesday evening.