Police: No Intel On Plans to Attack Pope During Israel Visit


yerushalayimThe Israeli security establishment and the police had received no specific information of an intent to attack Pope Benedict XVI during his scheduled May 14 visit to Nazareth, the chief of the police’s northern district said today. In a security briefing ahead of the Pope’s visit, Commander Shimon Koren said that the police, which will be securing the event together with the Shin Bet, will be deploying thousands of police officers around the planned location for the Pope’s mass and will be prepared to deal with any possible scenario.Commander Koren also said that a petition to hold a rally protesting the Pope’s visit had not as of yet been submitted. Koren added that if such a request should be put forward the police will examine and approve it in such a way as to not to interfere with the Pope’s planned schedule.

It was announced at the debriefing, participated by the commanders of all of the units expected to secure the events, that as of May 13 the police will commence blocking access routes to the sites the Pope is expected to visit.

However, the district commander insisted that the police will allow as much movement for the scores of tourists and pilgrims that are expected to come to Nazareth.

Late last month the Shin Bet voiced its opposition to the Pope’s use of the so-called Pope mobile during his Nazareth visit.

The Pope wants to get as close as possible to his followers, so the Vatican hopes the Pope will use the vehicle.

But the Shin Bet opposed this, citing pamphlets in Arab towns in the north calling for demonstrations during the visit. Other pamphlets by radical Islamists allegedly call for physical attacks on the Pope.

Entrance to all of the sites expected to house masses will be on an invitation-only basis, and citizens will be required to present a ticket.

The only way to arrive at the sites will be by buses leaving from pre-determined stations.

{Haaaretz/Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}