Israelis on alert for terror attack at Peres funeral
By Andrew Carey and Nic Robertson CNN
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israel has deployed 8,000 police officers to protect world leaders ahead of Friday's funeral of former President Shimon Peres, amid fears of a "lone wolf" terrorist attack.
Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan has instructed police to monitor social networks to identify suspects who could be planning to target world leaders.
President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton will be among the US delegation attending the funeral.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also is to attend, Abbas' office said Thursday.
Also invited are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Britain's Prince Charles, the leaders of Canada, Germany, France and Australia, and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.
Peres, the former Israeli Prime Minister, President and a Nobel laureate, died Wednesday at 93.
"This operation consists of police preparations held in a short time. I was impressed that the preparation is a professional and high alert operation, but still we are in a sensitive period, including terrorist threats and incitement on social networks," Erdan said.
Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich said officers were "conducting a complicated security operation in full coordination with all security organizations, IDF (The Israel Defense Forces), the Ministry of Defense, MDA (Magen David Adom, Israel's national emergency service) and government offices."
The police preparations have focused on four main areas -- Mount Herzl, the country's national cemetery in Jerusalem where the funeral will be held, the Knesset, Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and at hotels where world leaders will stay.
The security around the funeral is "obviously the largest police operation that has taken place for years," Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told CNN on Thursday.
"We are taking every precaution necessary ... the units that are involved are highly trained," he said.
But, he added, "there is no concrete intelligence whatsoever about any attack that is going to take place."
Elizabeth Roberts contributed to this report.
TM & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.