Israel Police Preparing Large Scale Security Operation For Trump Visit

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

TEL AVIV – Israel police are in the throes of preparing security protocols for President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to the country later this month.

The security operation, codenamed “Blue Shield,” will include some 10,000 police officers from across the country operating under the supervision of Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, Hebrew news site Walla reported.

Trump is scheduled to arrive in Israel on the morning of Monday, May 22 for a two-day visit. He will be arriving from Saudi Arabia. Both President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be present at an official welcome ceremony for Trump at Ben-Gurion Airport.

Israel’s airspace will close briefly around the time Air Force One is due to land. After landing, the area of the airport called “Juliet,” which is reserved for special ceremonies and VIPs, will also be closed. The closures are not expected to impact travel.

Trump will likely travel by helicopter to Jerusalem, which is, according to the report, his security detail’s preferred mode of transport. If the weather or other factors force him to travel by motorcade via Highway 1 instead, some 2,000 IDF border officers will be deployed to line the highway.

Trump is likely to visit the Western Wall, Knesset, Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Mount Herzl and Masada. Some reports have said he will also visit Bethlehem in the West Bank to tour the Church of the Nativity and meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the second time this month. The first meeting was in Washington on May 3.

Trump’s visit will coincide with Jerusalem Day, marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in the 1967 defensive war. The date is especially auspicious in light of Trump’s campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

As Breitbart Jerusalem reported last month, the visit comes ahead of the June 1 expiration of a congressional mandate for the embassy move, which has been extended each year since 1995.

A State Department spokesman declined to comment on whether Trump would renew the waiver come June.

Trump refused to comment directly on whether he would use the visit to announce an embassy move, telling Reuters in an interview last month: “Ask me in a month on that.”

Trump will leave Israel on the afternoon of May 23.

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