Israel: Police tell synagogue visitors to arrive 'armed' over holidays

Israel: Police tell synagogue visitors to arrive 'armed' over holidays
Israeli police have advised visitors to synagogues to arrive armed amid what it described as an increased threat of 'terrorism'.
2 min read
18 September, 2023
Israeli police said there was an increased risk of attacks [Getty]

Police in Israel have advised Israelis who possess a gun licence to attend synagogues armed as the country’s holiday season continues.

Israeli police say that there is an increased threat of "terrorism" amid the holiday season, with a rise in warnings of attacks on places of worship and entertainment venues in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that there had been 124 attacks and 13 attempted attacks in Israel between January and September 2023, as compared to 55 attacks and 10 attempted ones for the same period in 2022.

Israel usually raises its alert levels for the Jewish holiday period, which generally falls around September, and closes off the West Bank and Gaza Strip, severely restricting the movement of Palestinians.

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This year’s Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah, holiday has also been marked by increased stormings of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by Israeli settlers.

Last Friday, a bomb was detonated in Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv ahead of Rosh Hashanah. No one was injured.

The rise in attempted attacks in Israel comes amid ongoing Israeli assaults on Palestinian towns in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which have killed and injured hundreds of Palestinians since March 2022.

The Israeli attacks intensified after a far-right government came to power in Israel at the end of 2022, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and including extremist ministers such as Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich.