Monday, November 26, 2007

Terror Alert Delays Bus but CHUMASH GOES ON!

Yesterday (Sunday) I went to my bus stop early to catch the bus to Nishmat, where I have Chumash class from 3-6pm.
Normally the bus comes every 20 minutes. Yesterday I waited over an hour and a half until the 22 showed up, packed to the rafters with irritated commuters. They barely had room to squeeze me in to the front of the bus, where I was literally sandwiched between the security guard, the driver and several Israeli women.
Normally on the bus I'm not too talkative, I just say "Todah" (thank you) to the driver when he takes my fare and "Slicha" ("excuse me") to the other passengers as I try to find a seat or a place to stand. But this time ... I was pissed.

"Where have you been?" I asked the bus driver, "I'm late to school!"

"Terror alert in the city," he said.
"What terror alert?" I asked, having been away from media of all kinds since early in the morning.

An Israeli woman interrupted the conversation to inform me we were on "High Alert" for the first time in two years and that there were roadblocks in and out of the city, cars and taxis being stopped randomly for security checks, etc.
"That's just bullshit," I said furiously, "My son is coming to Israel in two days for the very first time and we can't have any of this terrorist crap right now! AND I'm late for my Chumash class!"

"It's Annapolis," she said apologetically.

"Screw Annapolis, it's time to study Chumash! We don't stop Chumash for some stupid political charade!" I retorted, furious that Prime Minister Olmert had actually managed to screw up my day personally.

After arriving very late to Nishmat (as did many of my fellow students) we discovered that indeed we had been on "High Alert." Below is an exerpt from Arutz Sheva's coverage of the non-event.


Jerusalem Alert Lowered
by Hana Levi Julian

( Jerusalem police and security officers lowered the alert level Sunday afternoon after several tense hours on high alert following a warning received by intelligence officers that two terrorists were on their way to carry out an attack.
Voice of Israel government radio announced the alert level had been lowered but did not give further information.
Security checkpoints and roadblocks were set up in a ring around Jerusalem, on Highway 1, the road that connects the capital with Tel Aviv, and in areas around the northern areas of the city.
Police closed off traffic on the Narkiss Bridge which leads to the French Hill junction from Pisgat Ze'ev, Neve Ya'akov and other Jewish neighborhoods in the north of the city.
The police Special Operations unit mobilized wearing helmets and bullet-proof vests, and Magen David Adom ambulances and rescue units moved onto the streets of the capital in anticipation of the possible attack. Special police mobile units and helicopters were also aloft, scanning the city and surrounding area in an effort to locate the would-be attackers.
Magen David Adom director-general Eli Bin announced that medics in the city had moved to alert Level 3. He also said MDA personnel had been placed on Level 2 alert in the central area of the country, which includes the Dan, Yarkon and Ayalon regions.
By mid-afternoon it became clear that the terrorists had not managed to enter the city and the alert level was lowered.
Two young PA would-be attackers were arrested near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron at midday. IDF soldiers discovered knives and rifle bullets while searching the two. They were taken by security personnel for questioning.

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