At least 2,000 Jerusalem, Israel and Border Guard Police officers are to be deployed in Jerusalem, protecting the capitol and its inhabitants on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement.
Israeli security forces have seen an uptick in violence and terrorist activity this month, particularly after the escape from Gilboa Prison nearly two weeks ago by six high-security terrorist prisoners. Four have since been recaptured, including former terrorist commander Zakaria Zubeidi. All but one are serving life sentences. Two of the escapees are still at large.
Ahead of the holiday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz toured the IDF’s Central Command and conducted a situation assessment together with the IDF’s Chief of the General Staff, Head of the Central Command, Head of Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Head of the Judea and Samaria Brigade, Head of the Civil Administration and representatives of the Israel Security Agency (General Security Services / Shin Bet) and Border Guard Police.
“Security forces are deployed and prepared to defend Israel’s citizens against any threat,” Gantz said in his remarks, praising the forces for their recent efforts in preventing terror attacks around the country.
Among the attacks that were not able to be prevented was this week’s brutal stabbing in central Jerusalem that left two hareidi religious young men in fair to serious condition. The terrorist was shot by three female Border Guard Police officers.
“I commend the soldiers, police officers and border police officers for their rapid and resilient response to recent events, and I wish a rapid recovery to those who were injured,” Gantz said.
“Israel has no desire to harm the routine lives of Palestinians and we are seeking economic and other civilian measures in order to continue strengthening our coordination with the Palestinian Authority,” the defense minister noted.
“If any terror organizations rear their heads – we will make sure to take them down. This is true both in Judea and Samaria as well as in Gaza.
“We will continue to enable millions of lives to continue in their routine while acting with all the means at our disposal.”