Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch pledged to ease controls on carrying weapons for self-defense after a gruesome terrorist attack at a Jerusalem synagogue that left four dead Tuesday.
It was not clear exactly what new measures would be put in place, but it was reported that the move would apply to anyone licensed to carry a gun, such as private security guards and off-duty army officers.
Aharonovitch added that “we have instructed synagogues to place security guards at their entrances.”
Army Radio reported that four Border Police reserve units have been called up.
After a meeting called by Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, police raised the threat level to one notch below the highest designation.
Danino also said that patrols around mosques, synagogues, and holy sites would be enhanced.
The move came after two Palestinian attackers armed with a gun and knives stormed into a Jerusalem synagogue, killing four people and injuring several more during morning prayers.
The two assailants were killed by police.
Police released the names of all four victims Tuesday afternoon: Rabbi Moshe Twersky, the head of the Torat Moshe yeshiva, 59; 40-year-old Aryeh Kupinsky; 50-year-old Rabbi Kalman Levine; and 68-year-old Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, all of whom were Jerusalem residents.
The funeral of Twersky, originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and a grandson of leading Modern Orthodox rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, began at 2 p.m.
The remaining funerals were scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
The morning attack took place at a synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof, on the western outskirts of the city.
“I’ve seen attacks with much higher death tolls, but the scenes this time were worse than any I have seen,” ZAKA head Yehuda Meshi Zahav told Army Radio.
He also protested the fact that gruesome images have been posted on the internet, exacerbating the grief of the victims’ families.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the hawkish Jewish Home party, held up a picture of one of the victims on BBC News before his interviewer asked him to put it down.