Israel to establish civilian national guard to fight attacks: PM

by IANS |

Jerusalem, May 9 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has announced that the country was establishing a civilian national guard to "fight terrorism".

His announcement was made in public remarks shortly after two Palestinians suspected of killing three Israelis in a knife attack were arrested earlier on Sunday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Bennett noted that Israel was entering "a new stage in the war on terrorism", and the need for a national guard is "more urgent than ever".

The new guard will be deployed throughout the country to enable them respond quickly to emergency even before the arrival of police forces, he said.

Comprised of border police units along with reservists and volunteers trained for the tasks, the guard "will be activated in emergencies and disturbances, and in routine times as well, as necessary," he noted.

Bennett said he had instructed the National Security Council and the Ministry of Public Security to present the government with a budgeted plan to establish the new guard by the end of May.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli security forces said after a three-day manhunt, the two suspects were captured in a forest near Elad, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish city where they killed three men and injured four others on Israel's Independence Day on Thursday.

The incident came amid heightened tensions over a string of clashes between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli police in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in recent weeks.

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