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Biden visit set to cause traffic chaos in central Israel; 16,000 cops to be deployed


US President Joe Biden’s go to later this week is ready to snarl visitors in central Israel, with the principle freeway connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv set to shut for hours in each instructions on Wednesday afternoon, police introduced on Sunday.

Biden will land at Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday afternoon and depart from it en path to Saudi Arabia on Friday afternoon. Safety preparations for the go to, formally titled “Blue Protect 3,” are set to incorporate over 16,000 law enforcement officials, Border Cops and volunteers.

The Jerusalem-Tel Aviv freeway, generally known as Route 1, can be closed between the airport-area Shapirim Interchange and the doorway to Jerusalem, police mentioned in an announcement. Visitors in each instructions can be redirected to Routes 44, 444 and 443.

The police warned of visitors disruptions and roadblocks all through the nation’s middle, Jerusalem and the highways resulting in it throughout Biden’s go to, including that particulars can be posted on the Israel Police’s social media retailers.

That may embrace many non permanent street closures inside Jerusalem from Wednesday to Friday — in accordance with Biden’s schedule — centered round King David Road, the place the US president and his delegation can be staying.

In the meantime, the Israel Police and the Israeli Air Power have been conducting drills prematurely of Biden’s arrival all through the middle of Israel, primarily specializing in securing journey between Biden’s deliberate locations. The navy drill was scheduled to finish Sunday night time.

The police presence can be targeted on the Ben Gurion Airport space, Jerusalem and principal thoroughfares to the capital. Police management facilities and hotlines can be lively all through the US president’s go to, the assertion mentioned.

Illustrative: Israeli Yasur heavy transport helicopters fly over Israel in an undated {photograph} revealed by the navy on July 7, 2022. (Israel Protection Forces)

The assertion additionally emphasised that every one non-public plane, together with drones, are prohibited within the airspace of Ben Gurion Airport and Jerusalem all through the go to.

Biden’s journey to Israel and Saudi Arabia marks his first time within the Center East as US president, however his tenth go to to Israel total. Whereas initially scheduled for late June, his journey was pushed again to this week resulting from scheduling points that an Israeli official mentioned had been associated to the Saudi Arabian leg of his journey. Biden accepted Israel’s invitation to go to in late April.

In line with the most recent model of Biden’s schedule, launched Thursday, the president can be greeted by Prime Minister Yair Lapid upon his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, and can then tour numerous safety methods with Protection Minister Benny Gantz, additionally on the airport. The latter half was initially set to participate on the Palmachim airbase, however was moved to the airport on Sunday to save lots of commuting time and visitors preparations.

The show-and-tell will embrace an Iron Dome missile protection battery, in a nod to US efforts to grant Israel an extra $500 million in substitute batteries for the system after final 12 months’s Gaza warfare. Biden’s tour may also embrace the Iron Beam laser rocket protection system, which is designed to work in tandem with methods like Iron Dome and shoot down smaller projectiles.

He’ll then journey to Jerusalem, the place he’ll go to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.

On Thursday, Biden is scheduled to have numerous conferences with Israeli politicians, together with Lapid and Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Biden and Lapid will then attend a digital I2U2 discussion board assembly with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United Arab Emirates President Mohamed bin Zayed to debate meals safety and different potential areas of collaboration between the UAE and Israel, a White Home official mentioned.

US President Joe Biden with then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on the White Home in Washington, DC, August 27, 2021. (Sarahbeth Maney-Pool/Getty Pictures/AFP)

Biden will then meet with President Isaac Herzog at his residence in Jerusalem, the place he can be awarded the Medal of Honor, and can then communicate with former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Biden may also deal with the group with Lapid and Bennett on the opening of the Maccabiah Jewish Olympic video games Thursday night.

On Friday, Biden will go to the Augusta Victoria Hospital on East Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives, a cornerstone of the Palestinian healthcare system that works with Israeli healthcare suppliers. It would mark the primary time a sitting US president visits a largely Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem that’s not the Outdated Metropolis. There, Biden will announce US funding for the East Jerusalem Hospital Community in addition to funding from different Gulf States.

Biden will then journey to Bethlehem for a gathering with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, after which he’ll announce plenty of steps that each the US and Israel plan to take to strengthen the Palestinian Authority; actual particulars haven’t but been finalized, a senior US official mentioned.

After his assembly with Abbas, Biden will journey on to Saudi Arabia, the place he’s scheduled to attend the GCC+3 summit on Saturday with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, together with representatives from Qatar, Jordan and Iraq.

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