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Security officials said to prepare Knesset Guard to repel Capitol-like assault

Meeting called by Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin reviews procedures for facing attempt by mob to seize parliament building

The Knesset Guard marches during the opening session of the new Knesset, following elections, on April 30, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
Illustrative: Members of the Knesset Guard participate in an emergency drill on June 13, 2017. (Maor Kinsbursky/Flash90)

Senior police and Knesset officials reportedly held talks Wednesday to review how the Knesset Guard would respond if there were an attempted mob takeover of the parliament building, similar to the storming of the US Capitol building by supporters of Donald Trump earlier this month.

Even though there is presently no intelligence pointing to such a threat, Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin ordered the talks in line with similar preparations being made at other centers of power around the world for extreme scenarios, Channel 12 news reported.

Levin discussed the matter with Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, along with representatives from Ohana’s ministry, the Israel Police and the Knesset Guard, which is tasked with securing the parliament building.

The talks reviewed, among other things, how long the Knesset Guard would be able to hold out until reinforcements arrived.

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin in the Knesset plenum, October 21, 2020 (Shmulik Grossman/Knesset)

The Knesset Guard is responsible for security within the Knesset compound, with police not authorized to operate in the area or even enter the building.

Among other things, officials sought to verify that the Knesset Guard would be capable of defending the site for a prolonged period of time against a mob assault.

The session ended with an agreement that the various bodies will work together to prepare for the possibility of such an event, the report said.

Following a speech by then US President Trump in Washington on January 6, as lawmakers in the Capitol building were preparing to confirm his loss last year in elections to Joe Biden, a mob of hundreds of Trump’s supporters forced their way into the seat of America’s legislature. Five people died as a result of the violence, including a police officer, as the mob rampaged through the Capitol building, damaging property and forcing lawmakers to barricade themselves in offices for safety.

Trump was later impeached on charges of having incited the violence with his persistent claims, without evidence, that the election was “stolen” from him.

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