Belgium to spend $4m on Jewish institution security
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Belgium to spend $4m on Jewish institution security

Following May 24 attack on Brussels Jewish Museum, government approves plan to boost protection for community

File. Extra police deploy in Belgium after a May 2014 attack at the Jewish museum in Brussels (Joods Actueel/FLASH90)
File. Extra police deploy in Belgium after a May 2014 attack at the Jewish museum in Brussels (Joods Actueel/FLASH90)

The Belgian government will earmark up to $4 million for improving security around Jewish buildings, a Brussels-based daily reported.

The funding is part of the Belgian federal government’s plan to shoulder security costs for the Jewish community following the May 24 murder of four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in the capital’s center, the French-language daily Le Soir reported earlier this week.

The museum was one of the few Jewish institutions of the Belgian capital that did not have constant police protection.

A man wearing a baseball cap entered the museum carrying two firearms and shot the victims. Six days later, French police arrested a 29-year-old man, Mehdi Nemmouche, whom they suspect perpetrated the murders. Belgium has asked France to extradite Nemmouche, whom French police say is a Muslim radical fought in Syria with jihadists last year. A decision on his extradition is expected to be delivered on June 26.

Following the attack, the Netherlands is also reexamining security arrangements for Jewish institutions and will present a plan to improve protection in the coming months, Ivo Opstelten, the country’s minister of security and justice, said in parliament on Thursday.

Belgium and the Netherlands each have approximately 40,000 Jews.

In the Netherlands, the Jewish community in recent years has spent several hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on security, according to community leaders who have lobbied vigorously for the government to cover these costs.

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