Kristine L Ming

Special police unit to be established for Temple Mount

Public Defense Minister Gilad Erdan announced on Tuesday a plan to establish a special police unit that will be dedicated to keeping order on Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The plan came as result of conclusions drawn following a terrorist attack on the compound in July 2017 in which two Israeli policemen were killed.

 The Temple Mount Unit will be equipped with advanced technology and will gather intelligence in order to protect visitors to the holy site, the ministry said.

The unit will include approximately 200 policemen, in which 100 will be specially recruited to the police in the course of the next year.

In light of the announcement, Erdan said, that in his vision, “in two years Jerusalem will become not only the holiest city in the world but also the safest.

“With the most advanced technology, the city will become a model for cities around the world for its skilled policemen and for the technology it uses,” he said.

Following July’s attack, the Israeli government decided to install metal detectors at the entrances of several gates to Temple Mount and closed others.

After large-scale resistance by Palestinians, and also international pressure, Israel decided to remove the new safety measure and reassess how to secure the compound.

During a tour of east Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods in August, Erdan said he was advancing a NIS 1.2 billion plan to strengthen the security infrastructure in Jerusalem, which includes adding 1,250 police officers to the capital, improving the salary of the officers and establishing a control center with thousands of “smart cameras,” which will be placed all over the capital’s Old City.

“I will continue to do everything that is in my power to make sure that every family that wants to come live here can do it and be safe,” Erdan said at the time.

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