Police Chief: No Specific Threats Seen Over Pesach

Yerushalayim -
Chief Roni Alshich. (Avshalom Sasoni/Flash90)

IDF forces and police are on high alert and will remain so for the coming weeks, but speaking Tuesday, Israel Police Chief Roni Alschich said there were no specific security warnings for Pesach or the period after.

Among the events on the Palestinian side are the “million man march” Hamas is planning for mid-May, as well as Land Day, which takes place on Erev Pesach, and in the past has been an occasion for serious rioting by Palestinian Authority Arabs and some Israeli Arabs. That latter situation is under control, Alshich said at a press conference Tuesday. “There is no need to be concerned about Land Day events inside Israel,” he said. “We have not had serious incidents on Land Day in recent years and we do not expect them this year. The security situation on the eve of the holiday is the same as it is every other day of the year. The vast majority of planned terrorist attacks do not come to fruition.”

That’s not necessarily the view of the IDF. On Monday, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott discussed the planned Gaza march, in which Hamas intends to bring masses of Gazans to the border fence, to break it down and push into Israel. “We face many challenges,” he said. “The situation on the Palestinian side is very tense, and that requires us to remain on constant high alert. Iran continues to dig in forcefully to our north. We are developing new strategies to face these developing threats in a changing strategic situation.”

The IDF is preparing for worst-case scenarios in the planned Hamas march, Hadashot News said. Hamas plans its first test march on Friday, Erev Pesach. Several divisions will remain on duty throughout Pesach, and sharpshooters are being deployed at the Gaza border, with the intention of shooting ringleaders of the marchers and thus keeping the rest of the mob at bay. Meanwhile, Gaza sources reported that Israeli planes have in recent days blanketed Gaza with leaflets warning residents to stay away from the border, for their own safety. With that, the report said, the IDF believes that the test march planned for Friday, as well as others that are planned, will not be mass events.