14,000 policemen to secure Bush’s visit to Jerusalem

May 13th, 2008 - 7:35 pm ICT by admin  

Jerusalem, May 13 (Xinhua) About 14,000 Israeli police officers will man the streets of Jerusalem, safeguarding US President George W. Bush’s three-day visit to Jerusalem beginning Wednesday, local daily Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday, citing the Israeli police. Jerusalem District Police Commander Aharon Franco said their major concern was terrorist threats, noting that a closure of the West Bank that went into force ahead of Independence Day has been extended until Saturday night.

However, the police have not received security threats against Bush yet, Franco said.

People in Jerusalem can expect major traffic jams throughout the city as the police will close off central Jerusalem thoroughfares during the visit, dubbed by the police “Operation Clear Skies 2″.

In an effort to alleviate traffic issues, Bush will arrive in Jerusalem by helicopter. He will land at the city’s Givat Ram stadium before heading to Jerusalem’s landmark King David Hotel, his residence during his trip.

“We are trying to minimize as much as possible the damage done to the public,” Franco was quoted by Jerusalem Post as saying.

The police plan to close major streets for shorter periods of time than they did during Bush’s previous visit in January for “lessons learned”.

Around 10,000 officers had been deployed for safeguarding Bush’s January visit, his first as president, Franco said.

During his visit, Bush will meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Shimon Peres, and attend an international conference hosted by Peres at the International Convention Centre.

Bush will tour Masada on the Dead Sea Thursday morning before returning to Jerusalem to address a special session of the Knesset (parliament) at mid-day.

He will interact with the youth at the city’s Bible Lands Museum before leaving the country Friday.

Bush will not visit the West Bank during his trip, but will meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Egypt’s coastal city Sharm el Sheikh after his trip to Israel.

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