When Jerusalem’s light rail was finally finished and operational, the first worry was how to protect it from a terrorist attack. Over a decade ago, suicide bombers targeted the city’s busses at will, until Ariel Sharon launched operation Defensive Shield. Today Jerusalem witnessed a frighteningly close call when a potential suicide bomber was stopped in his tracks.
A suspicious man carrying a bag was stopped on the train and when the bag was opened, explosives were found. On one hand what happened is testament to the security services successful strategy, on the hand as the mayor Nir Barkat suggested, the city was saved only by a miracle.
Up until now the light rail suffered plenty of rock attacks when he reached Arab neighborhoods. The residents of Jerusalem have grown used to this occurence, but a bombing is a whole different manner. No one wants to relive those dark days of the second intifada, when Jerusalem felt as if it was under siege.
The light rail must have increased security and the mayor may have to do what he has been reluctant to do and that is closing the light rail stops that go through Arabs neighborhoods in order to cut down on flow potential terrorist into the heart of the city.