Wednesday, May 6, 2009

80,000 security to protect the Pope

Some 80,000 security personnel will secure the visit of Pope Benedict XVI, who will arrive in Israel on Monday -- "one of the largest in recent years", reports the Jerusalem Post:
The security operation, codenamed Operation White Cape, will see 60,000 police officers and 20,000 other security personnel take part in arrangements surrounding the visit, with at least five to six thousand officers involved every day.
Upon his arrival in Bethleham, Israel will hand over responsibility for the convoy to the Palestinian Authority's Presidential Guard:
On Wednesday, the head of the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, met with senior PA security officials to finalize details of the pope's visit to the West Bank. The sides agreed to open a joint command center at the Etzion Brigade Base, near the Alon Shvut settlement, which will be manned by IDF soldiers and Palestinian security officials.

An Israeli worker sits in the Popemobile during a rehearsal on May 6, 2009 of Pope Benedict XVI's route through the Gethsemane valley at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Source: Getty Images

The civil administration has also arranged for the Israel Electric Corporation and the Water Authority to be on standby to provide any needed additional resources to the Bethlehem Municipality during Benedict's visit to the city.

The IDF has issued 18,000 permits to Palestinians from the West Bank so they can enter Israel for the duration of the pope's visit and attend the prayer service he is scheduled to hold near Nazareth.


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