image Photo: Flash90

Israel on high security alert

The defense establishment is preparing strategies to counter a potential rise of Palestinian terror attacks during the approaching Jewish holiday season.

By Erin Viner

Local media is reporting that the State of Israel is set to implement an unprecedented high level of alert.

A record high of around 20,000 police officers will be deployed to maintain law and order nationwide, particularly in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Celebration of the Rosh Hashanah Jewish New Year (of 5783, according to the Hebrew calendar) is set to begin at sunset on Sunday, 25 September; followed by observance of the Yom Kippur Day of Atonement on 4 October, the Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Festival 9-16 October.

Sukkot is one of the three pilgrimage feasts when Jews are required to appear before God in Jerusalem, and the Book of Zechariah extends this appointment with the Most High also to Gentiles. Thus, tens of thousands of believers from all nations of the world generally visit the Holy City each year to join the Jewish People for the joyous festivities.

Many Christians commemorate the festival in fulfillment of Zechariah 14:16: “the nations…shall come up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.’

Tens of thousands of the faithful usually flock to Jerusalem to participate in the annual Feast of Tabernacles hosted by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), which has followers from more than 170 nations worldwide. The mega event had become a beacon of Jewish-Christian relations highlighted by a major march through Jerusalem with people of both faiths waving the Israeli flag together while singing the country’s national anthem.

The season concludes with Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah commemorations 16-18 October.

“This is a symbolic period during which terrorist organizations are naturally looking to carry out showcase attacks,” a senior police official told the Ynet news agency on condition of anonymity.

Following analysis of the most recent intelligence gathering, senior defense officials have presented Prime Minister Yair Lapid with an estimated 70 concrete intelligence warnings regarding possible imminent Palestinian attacks against the Israeli people  during the Jewish High Holidays, said the report.

Palestinians have carried out nine separate attacks carried out against Israelis in recent weeks while scores of others were thwarted by Israeli security forces. So far this year, at least 240 terror attacks have been foiled – including attempted suicide and other bombings, shootings and abductions.

IDF, Israel Security Agency (ISA, Shin Bet) and police forces have repeatedly come under attack during nightly raids while carrying out ongoing counterterrorism activities throughout Judea and Samaria as part of Operation Waves Breaker, launched in response to the wake of a deadly surge of attacks against Israelis that killed 19 people between March and May 2022.

Over 2,000 wanted Palestinian terror suspects have been captured and hundreds of weapons confiscated in thousands of counterterrorism operations by Israeli security forces over the past four months.