Around 15,000 police will participate in efforts to secure US President Barak Obama throughout his visit next week. Israeli police will go into operational activity level, cancelling vacations and days off.
Over 5,000 officers will be involved in protecting the presidential entourage, which includes more than 600 people. In Jerusalem, there will be 3,000 active officers.
“We are preparing for even the gravest possibility and are not relying only on intelligence. We are taking into account every scenario that could develop,” said head of operations, Brigadier General Nissim Mor. “We are talking about a very complicated operation.”
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Police are preparing for different scenarios ranging from an attempt to hurt the president, to the possibility of developments in the north or the south. There are also arrangements being made with the Palestinian Authority and at the beginning of next week police will launch a campaign to track down Palestinians residing illegally in Israel.
Obama visit - every case scenario played out (Photo: AP)
Mor said that activists of Peace Now and haredi groups intend to hold demonstrations throughout the visit. “The police will allow demonstrations as long as they are within legal limits,” Mor said.
Flags already hung in Jerusalem (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Security personnel will be stationed at Ben Gurion Airport, as well as at the other locations Obama is scheduled to visit. Each of these locations will have a high ranking officer with operations and special forces soldiers at his disposal. Special police forces will accompany the nearly 60-vehicle presidential motorcade.
As part of the preparations, case scenarios will be played out on Friday with American security officials. The police will open a special center on Sunday that will provide information to the public regarding the Obama visit.
On Monday, a ‘general rehearsal’ will be held for all forces participating in the operation. Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and senior police staff will all be involved.
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