Germany, France step up security at Jewish sites amid Israel war

A French officer stands guard near a synagogue in Marseille on November 3, 2020. (Christophe SIMON / AFP)
Illustrative: A French officer stands guard near a synagogue in Marseille on November 3, 2020. (Christophe SIMON / AFP)

Germany and France move to reinforce security around Jewish temples, schools and monuments after the surprise attack by Hamas against Israel.

Germany tightens police protection of Jewish and Israeli institutions, as some supporters of the Palestinians took to the streets of Berlin to celebrate the attack.

France is focusing on Jewish temples and schools in cities across the country, as one Jewish leader expresses concern at the possibility the conflict might be imported there.

“In Berlin, police protection has been immediately stepped up,” Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser tells Bild newspaper. “The federal government and the regions are closely coordinating their actions.”

Germany’s authorities are also closely watching “potential supporters of Hamas in the Islamist sphere,” she adds.

In France, security had already been stepped up at synagogues in Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Strasbourg because of the holiday period being observed since late September.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin sends an urgent message to prefects running the country’s regions asking them to reinforce surveillance even further.

“At a time when terrorist attacks from Gaza are hitting Israel, I ask you to immediately step up vigilance, security and protection of Jewish community sites in France,” he writes in a message seen by AFP.

He called for a “visible and systematic static presence,” and the use of soldiers from France’s Operation Sentinelle, a special force deployed across the country since the 2015 terror attacks. The interior ministry will review the security situation at a special meeting tomorrow.

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