As Jews and Christians pour into Jerusalem for Passover, Israeli Police reinforced their numbers while they continue to search for those responsible for the horrific bus-bombing three days ago.
A gag order has been issued preventing police from discussing the ongoing investigation into the bombing of the #12 bus in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem that injured 21. It was the first bomb attack in a six month wave of terror characterized by almost daily knife and car attacks. Shattering a brief period of calm, it is feared the attack signaled an intention by the Palestinians to escalate the violence.
Over 3,500 policemen from a wide range of units will be deployed throughout the capital and Channel 10 reported they are on the highest level of alert.
“Israel Police have carried out security assessments for the Passover festival, and heightened security will continue throughout the country, with an emphasis on Jerusalem, where thousands of people are expected to come to visit the Old City and Western Wall,” said Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
“Security measures will also continue throughout next week, with emphasis on Birkat Kohanim (priestly blessing), which will take place early next week, and during the Ceremony of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where units will be mobilized throughout the festival.”
“After this week’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem, police are taking no chances whatsoever, and all necessary security arrangements are being made and implemented on the ground,” he said.
As is standard procedure during the Jewish holidays, Palestinians from Gaza and the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled areas of Judea and Samaria will not be permitted to visit the rest of Israel during the holiday. Police have announced Jews will be permitted to go up to the Temple Mount, though this is dependent upon Arabs keeping the peace.