Israel beefs up security in Jerusalem ahead of Yom Kippur, braces for possible escalation

The Israel Police dispatched enforcements of 2,000 policemen to Jerusalem after a terrorist stabbed and moderately injured two Israelis near the central bus station in the city.

By TPS and World Israel News Staff

Israel’s combined security forces are stepping up their level of alert across the country following several terror attacks and ahead of a possible escalation in terror attacks during the upcoming holiday of Yom Kippur.

The Israel Police dispatched enforcements of 2,000 policemen to Jerusalem after a terrorist stabbed and moderately injured two Israelis near the central bus station in the city.

IDF forces are still searching for the last two of the six terrorists who escaped from Gilboa Prison over a week ago. Israeli security officials believe that their killing during the pursuit or capture will bring to an escalation of the Islamic Jihad rockets attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Moreover, the IDF is preparing for another operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

After three nights of rocket attacks from Gaza, the Israeli border with the Strip remained silent on Monday night.

However, the IDF’s Gaza Division is on high alert, and senior officers are quoted as saying that the question about another operation in the Strip is not a question of if, but when.

Egypt reportedly told Hamas after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Monday evening that if the rocket fire on Israel from Gaza does not stop, Israel will launch another broad operation in the Strip.

“I don’t know if we are on the verge of an escalation,” Public Security Minister Omer Barlev told Kan News. “But we are definitely in a very sensitive point in time — the recent attacks, the escape of the terrorists from the prison and the two who have not yet been caught, alongside our problems with Hamas.”

He added that “any incident could set off the entire area, so we are preparing for an escalation in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and Gaza.”

Member of Knesset Ram Ben Barak, Chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, warned Monday that another clash with Gaza was near.

Israeli analyst Yoni Ben Menachem, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), explained that there are several reasons for the explosive atmosphere.

There is anger and frustration on the streets of the Palestinian Authority that the Israeli security forces were successful in capturing four of the six terrorists who escaped from Gilboa Prison.

Similarly, the PA street is outraged over the sanctions the Israel Prison Service has leveled against Islamic Jihad prisoners following the escape.

Hamas is angry at the restrictions imposed by Israel on the entry of the Qatari funds into the Gaza Strip. On Monday, a third of the funds meant for poor families in Gaza were transferred through debit cards and a United Nations mechanism. The funds Hamas is demanding for its 27,000 officials are still a point of contention with Israel.

Finally, the Gaza Strip is angry over the delay in rehabilitating the Strip after Operation Guardian of the Walls in May. Israel is demanding the release of two Israelis and the bodies of two IDF soldiers held by Hamas and a long-term ceasefire in return for Gaza’s rehabilitation.

One last point to take into consideration is the High Holidays Israel is currently celebrating. The holidays of the month of Teshrei have previously served as an instigation of Muslim religious fervor which has led to violence.