Rabbi Bar Chen at entrance to Jewish institution
Rabbi Bar Chen at entrance to Jewish institution European Rabbinical Conference

Rabbi Meir Bar Chen, the Chief Rabbi of Barcelona and a member of the Standing Committee of the European Rabbinical Conference, said that police ordered Jewish institutions in Barcelona to close following the suspected terrorist ramming attack Thursday afternoon.

Rabbi Bar Chen added that apparently this was not a terror attack directed specifically against Jews, and the Barcelona police chief informed him that if it became clear that there were Jewish casualties he would inform him immediately.

"The terror is terror against every person created in the image of G-d, and we wish them a full and speedy recovery," said the rabbi. "The Jewish community relies on the Spanish security services to do everything to secure the institutions of the community."

A van rammed through a crowd of pedestrians in a popular tourist hotspot in Barcelona, Spain Thursday afternoon, leaving at least 13 people killed and more injured. There are also initial reports that a hostage situation is underway near the scene of the apparent ramming attack.

The incident took place near two kosher restaurants, Maccabi, and Maoz Falafel.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that while many Israelis visit Barcelona, there sre currently no reports of Israeli casualties.

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon expressed his condolences and support to Spain’s Ambassador Juan Manuel Gonzalez De Linares following the deadly attack.

“We send our condolences and wish a speedy recovery to those injured in this horrific attack in Barcelona. Terror is terror, and Israel stands by the side of the people of Spain as we pledge to fight all those who seek to harm the free world.”