Armed guards to be stationed at every Jerusalem shul over Rosh Hashanah

Police in London have also boosted patrols for Jewish new year this weekend


Israeli police stand guard in Jerusalem's Old City following a reported stabbing attack on February 13, 2023. (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP) (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

Armed guards will be stationed outside every synagogue in Jerusalem over the High Holy Days for the first time ever amid a rise in terror attacks, officials have said.

There have been 19 attacks in Israel's capital since the beginning of the year, with 31 other incidents successfully foiled.

Thousands of police officers will be deployed at holy sites and crowded locations over the holidays.

“Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are significant holidays, and even though there are no simultaneous Muslim events, it remains a challenge, Jerusalem district police commander superintendent Doron Turgeman told Israeli news website N12.

“We must maintain a high level of preparedness. Those who come to Jerusalem trust us to ensure their safety.

"The freedom to worship during Jewish holidays and Arab prayer times is of utmost importance," he added.

Crowd control measures and checkpoints will be set up to manage those attending the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Unlike shuls in the UK, Israeli synagogues do not typically have guards stationed outside.

In London, the Metropolitan Police has written to Jewish residents to pledge additional resources to community policing over the High Holy Days.

Barnet Superintendent Lorraine Busby-Mcvey wrote: "Our plan includes uniform patrols across the Borough, during key dates and times.

"We will be visiting synagogues over the High Holiday period and will have additional resources on patrol. Please do say hello to your local neighbourhood officers during their patrols."

Earlier this week, two American synagogues were forced to evacuate following fake bomb threats.

B’nai Israel’s rabbi, Philip Weintraub, said of the incident: “It was not disruptive to our worship.”

He told the JTA that the police “took it very seriously."

According to the Anti-Defamation League, at least 49 synagogues in 13 states have received threatening calls since mid-July. None of the calls have been linked to credible bomb threats.

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