While the Palestinians are preparing a diplomatic and civil initiative at the United Nations, Israel continues its military preparations in response to this political move. On Sunday (11 September), the Israeli police are conducting a “general rehearsal” in preparation for riots anticipated by Israel following declaration of a Palestinian state in the United Nations.
According to an Israel Defence interview with Major General Nissim Mor, Head of the Operations Department of the Israeli Police, “serious riots” are liable to erupt in September. “The scenarios in September can include mass marches moving from place to place, some violent and others not, and also the imposition of a siege on isolated communities in Judea and Samaria and even mass fortification on the Temple Mount,” Mor notes. “Additionally, it must be taken into account that events such as these can be combined with an escalation in rockets from Gaza or Lebanon.”
Mor notes the “extensive experience” of the police in coordinating and working together with the Israeli army, mentioning the experience of “the disengagement with Gaza and northern Samaria (2005)”, in addition to other events.
“We are prepared along the borders, in the Judea and Samaria region and on the border of the Gaza Strip,” Mor relates, “and in a third circle along the seam region and within Israel.” Mor add that “there are cities more liable to take part in the riots, such as Jerusalem and Um el Fahem (within Israel. These are circles against which we must prepare together with the Israeli army.”
Mor discusses police efforts “to dialogue” with leaders of the Palestinian community within Israel, noting that police “policy is that everyone who wishes to demonstrate and protest legally – can do so”.
In response to a question about the “non-lethal” means and methods of actions with which the Israeli police are equipping themselves toward September, Mor responded that he “cannot detail too much”. However, he did note that “the police have accumulated extensive experience in recent years and has substantially improved its ability in this area.” ‘Non-lethal’ means mentioned by Mor include the use of water cannons, skunk water, tear gas canisters and horses.
Israeli Police Conduct “General Rehearsal” for September