(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The Israel Police will establish a special unit to secure the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced Tuesday.
The unit’s officers will “protect visitors to the Temple Mount and will have the most advanced intelligence and technological resources in existence available to them,” Erdan said at an event held in honor of Jerusalem District Police officers.
“I envision Jerusalem becoming within two years not only the holiest city in the world but one of the safest cities in the world, with the most advanced technology that exists today. The city will become a role model for advanced cities throughout the world, both in terms of the skills of the police deployed in and in terms of the technologies that exist there,” he said.
The Public Security Ministry and the Israel Police decided to establish the unit in response to escalating tensions surrounding the Temple Mount—including July’s Arab terror attack that killed two Israeli policemen near the holy site—and as part of a plan to bolster security in the Jerusalem District. The unit will operate independently, and its activities will be restricted to providing security at the sensitive site.
An officer with the rank of chief superintendent will supervise the new unit, which will be made up of some 200 police officers, half of whom will be new recruits.