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Pool is ready PHoto: Elad Gershgorn
Pool is ready PHoto: Elad Gershgorn

Olmert vacations under heavy security

Acting prime minister arrives at Galilee resort; visitor says heavy security makes her feel President Bush is in town

Hagai Einav
Published: 04.13.06, 18:46 / Israel News

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his wife Aliza joined travelers and arrived with their family and friends to relax in a Galilee holiday property.


Large police forces under the commandership of Brig.-Gen. Danny Hadad and Shin Bet bodyguards were positioned in the community and on access roads, and are checking those who want to approach.

Residents of the community have been issued special passes.


Shin Bet sets up temporary fence (Photo: Elad Gershgorn)


After the family settled in the property, a checkpoint set up at the community’s entrance was removed and security was focused on the holiday resort itself.


Police forces are patrolling the community and assisting the Shin Bet in keeping “a sterile area” around the resort.


Police sources told Ynet they are subordinated to Shin Bet orders and are doing their best to allow access to residents and their guests.


Olmert is expected to stay in the resort for a number of days, during which he will visit a number of resorts – all subject to security constraints.


The luxury guest room where Olmert is staying is flanked by green fields. The place has a swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, well-accessorized suites and a spa with a team of therapists.


A resident of the community told Ynet: “In general we were not given special orders, but at checkpoints ID cards are being checked and access permits are being issued. Our movement is not being restricted. It is a great honor that the designated prime minister chose to spend the holiday in our community.”


‘It’s as if President Bush arrived here’


A visitor who arrived in the village to spend the holiday with her family told Ynet: “It was a total surprise for some of the families. You wake up in the morning and the community is guarded as if the President of the United States arrived. It was strange and everyone hopes that this holiday doesn’t harm the families and guests who come to visit them.”


And not only Olmert went out on a vacation. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis took advantage of the nice weather conditions to hike in nature reserves, in parks and tourist attractions – from the north to the south.

The Jewsish National Fund estimates that some 250,000 people visited forests and parks across the country. By Thursday afternoon, 80 to 100 thousand people had visited National Jewish Fund parks in the south.


In the Golan Heights the party started Wednesday, when tens of thousands visitors filled hotels in the north. Thursday morning hundreds arrived at the Kayak facility in Kibbutz Kfar Bloom and Beit Hilel, where the yacht season opened.


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