Synagogues demand gov't provide security guards

Union of Synagogues calls on defense and religious affairs ministers to take 'immediate action' to prevent another Har Nof massacre.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Synagogue worshippers
Synagogue worshippers
Nati Shohat / Flash 90

In the wake of the Ra'anana stabbing Saturday, the Union of Synagogues in Israel has turned to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon demanding security guards be placed at the entrance to twenty thousand synagogues across the country. 

The call, also issued to Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Religious Affairs Minister David Azulai, came after eyewitnesses to the Ra'anana attack said the terrorist attempted to enter a synagogue full of worshipers.

In its letter, the Union argued that "synagogues, being a symbol of Judaism and a holy place where many people gather - sometimes even hundreds - have become a preferred target for terrorists mainly due to the helplessness of worshippers."

The Union, which represents nearly 20,000 synagogue caretakers, further claimed: "It's only a matter of time before the terrorists succeed in achieving their goals, God forbid, and commit a massacre similar to the one at the synagogue in Har Nof, if not worse. 

"On behalf of caretakers, community leaders and worshippers, we demand immediate action to enhance security through deploying security guards to stand at entrance of synagogues during prayers, similar to steps being taken at Jerusalem light rail stations."

The Union stressed the need for security, noting it represents over a million and a half worshippers across Israel. 

"European governments have long understood the need to protect synagogues in their territory," Union of Synagogues member Eli Ben Harush told Arutz Sheva. "The government of Israel must also protect synagogues."



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