Israeli synagogues instructed to hire security guards


JERUSALEM (JTA) — In the wake of a deadly attack in Jerusalem, synagogues throughout Israel have been instructed to place security guards at their entrances.

Israel’s public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovich, also announced on Tuesday that his office would ease requirements for gun licenses.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security consultation in his Jerusalem office following the morning attack on the Bnei Torah Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in western Jerusalem that left five dead, including three with dual Israeli and U.S. citizenship.

Netanyahu ordered the demolition of the homes of the two Palestinian terrorists who perpetrated the attack, according to a statement from his office following the meeting.

A series of additional decisions also were made in order to strengthen security throughout the country, the statement said.

Along with Aharonovich, other participants at the security meeting were Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Shin Bet director Yore Cohen, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, State Attorney Shay Nissan, Jerusalem District Police Commander Moshe Derik and the coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai.

Following the attack, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, the Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel, said that Jews in Israel should not pray in a synagogue unless there is an armed guard. Yosef called on the government to help in funding the extra security.

“In every other public place security guards are stationed; there is no reason synagogues should remain defenseless,” Yosef said, according to the NRG news website.



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