The Israel Police have officially completed security preparations in anticipation of US President Trump's visit Monday. The operation, which was been dubbed "Blue Shield," will incorporate thousands of regular police and border police officers, in addition to volunteers.
In addition to extensive Israeli security preparations, Trump's American team is even outfitting his room at the King David Hotel with special glass designed to protect against RPGs and other rockets, according to Sheldon Rich, the hotel's operations manager.
The president will arrive with an entourage of roughly 1,000 people including his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and strategist Steve Bannon.
As part of Operation Blue Shield, which will be overseen by Israel Police chief Roni Alsheikh, the police will be conducting extensive operations in several areas, including Ben Gurion Airport, the Jerusalem area and the roads leading to and from the capital.
To ensure that command and control runs smoothly, police are setting up various command centers in and around Jerusalem throughout the entirety of the visit.
Prior to the president's arrival, US Secret Service personnel and Israeli security forces conducted joint drills, including one focused on securing Trump and his entourage's convoy at the various sites he is expected to visit.
Assistant Commissioner Boaz Goldberg said, "This is an extremely important and complicated operation for the State of Israel. The president of the United States is coming with a very large entourage, and the Israel Police, Prime Minister's Office, Shin Bet, IDF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are working to ensure this visit goes by smoothly."
Traffic jams and suite protection
Throughout the course of the visit, heavy traffic jams are expected on various roads throughout Jerusalem, including on the main routes leading to the city.
Starting at noon on Monday for several hours, a great number of roads in the city will be closed and again on Tuesday from 8:30 am. Authorities have recommended that the public use public transit and employ the application Waze, which will be continually updated with all road closures.
Throughout Trump's visit, it will be absolutely forbidden to employ all aircraft (including drones) in the airspace over Jerusalem. The police said they would try to minimize the disruptions to the public.
Between Sunday and Thursday, some 40 events will be held in Jerusalem, with thousands participating in each event. Alongside the arrival of the US president, the district police will also be dealing with the events of Jerusalem Day, some of which will begin on Monday.
"Our top priority is to ensure close cooperation with the Americans to ensure that the visit is conducted exactly according to plan," said the police's spokesman for the foreign media, Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld.
Rich, the King David's operations manager, said, "There is no room for mishaps regarding the security of Trump and his family." According to him, the presidential suite, which costs about $ 5,700 (NIS 20,000) per night, was built with an independent air-conditioning system in the event of a chemical attack and is intended to withstand fire from an RPG.
(Article translated and edited by Fred Goldberg and J. Herzog)