Police commanders concerned terrorists may try to disrupt presidential visit.
By David Hellerman, World Israel News
The Israeli security establishment is bracing itself for potential terror attacks during U.S. President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit, Ynet reported on Monday.
The report was based on Zoom meeting of police commanders on Sunday. Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai briefed police commanders on the presidential visit.
Biden is scheduled to visit the region on July 13-16 with stops in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia.
Police sources told Ynet that they are considering the possibility that terrorists will attack during the visit. The report did not mention any intelligence of a specific attack. Nor did the sources indicate whether the police discussed attacks targeting Biden or attacks elsewhere intended to disrupt his visit.
Biden reportedly plans to visit eastern Jerusalem unaccompanied by Israeli officials, the first visit by a U.S. president to eastern Jerusalem. It is widely believed that Biden will visit the Al Makassed Hospital, which is located on the Mount of Olives, and announce the renewal of U.S. funding for Palestinian health care.
“Since the last wave of terror, the police with its anti-terror unit and in cooperation with the Shin Bet, foiled dozens of attacks that were already set to take place,” the source told Ynet.
During Biden’s last visit to Israel, a Palestinian went on a stabbing spree in Jaffa. The 2016 attack took place a short distance from the Peres Center for Peace, where the then-Vice President was meeting former Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Taylor Force, an American student, was killed and nine others were injured in the stabbing spree. The terrorist, 21-year-old Bashar Massalha was killed by responding police.
Congress later passed the Taylor Force Act amid outrage over Massalha’s family receiving a monthly pension from the Palestinian Authority’s Martyrs Fund.