As a result of the ongoing threat of terrorism in the nation’s capital, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz on Sunday approved the deployment of 300 additional security guards for Jerusalem’s public transport, the Maariv news site reported.
The guards and a number of security vehicles will be sent out to bus stops and Jerusalem Light Rail stops throughout the city. “The very deployment and correct use of the guards can bring the threat to a minimum and even prevent it,” Katz said.
In the first few weeks of the ongoing violence, a similar group of guards and IDF soldiers were sent to protect Jerusalem’s public transportation system, but they were eventually taken off that duty. Now, however, they will return.
The guards, all former combat soldiers, will be given uniforms, pistols and radios in order to protect passengers. They will also be given legal permission to conduct searches of those they determine to be potential security risks.
In October, soon after the start of the ongoing violence, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan approved an expanded “stop and frisk” policy to allow law-enforcement officials the ability to carry out searches at just the slightest suspicion of a threat.
The plan was approved by the security cabinet in light of the ongoing terror, which has been predominantly centered around Jerusalem and the West Bank.
“Your mission is to act with determination and responsibility,” Katz told the guards. “On the one hand to be determined in order to prevent, in any way, injury or threat to travelers on public transportation. But on the other hand, to act responsibly.”
In addition, the Israel Defense Forces will maintain its increased presence in the West Bank, keeping four additional battalions in the area, according to Channel 2’s website.