update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

SUKKOT 2023

Israel faces ‘dozens’ of terror threats ahead of Sukkot holiday

The week-long festival will see tens and thousands of Jews flock to the Western Wall for the Priestly Blessing.

Jews pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem during Sukkot, Oct. 12, 2022. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
Jews pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem during Sukkot, Oct. 12, 2022. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

As Israel prepares for the Sukkot holiday, the country’s security services are still confronting “dozens” of Palestinian terrorist plots every day, Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai warned on Tuesday.

“We are still very much on alert for the Tishrei holidays, with dozens of warnings and intentions to carry out terrorist attacks [being detected],” Shabtai said during a briefing with senior police staff.

The week-long Sukkot festival (Feast of Tabernacles) starts at sundown on Friday and will see tens and thousands of Jewish worshippers flock to the Western Wall for the traditional Priestly Blessing.

“I am asking everyone today to refresh procedures on the ground, for high vigilance, quick response to events, and visibility and presence in crowded places. The general quiet is deceptive and can change in an instant,” Shabtai instructed officers.

The fast of Yom Kippur, which was observed from Sunday night to Monday night, passed without any terrorist attacks, Israel’s top cop noted as he praised the Israel Police, IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

On Sept. 13, in a press briefing ahead of Rosh Hashanah, Jerusalem District Police Commander Doron Turgeman first warned of “an increase in warnings and actionable threats of all types, also during the days of Selichot [penitential prayers], on weekdays and holidays.”

Every synagogue in Jerusalem will be guarded by armed security personnel this High Holiday season, Turgeman told reporters, adding that since the beginning of 2023, police have thwarted 31 attempted attacks in the holy city.

Special efforts are being made to maintain the fragile calm on the Temple Mount in the Old City, Judaism’s holiest site, which sees an uptick in Jewish pilgrims over the holiday season, said Turgeman.

Thousands of Israel Police officers, Border Police officers and security volunteers have been deployed to guard Israel’s holy places, recreational sites, parks, beaches and roads.

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