Belgium pulls shul security

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Belgium pulls shul security

Jewish umbrella group said armed soldiers had been 'undeniably dissuasive' to potential attackers, and withdrawing it 'increases the threat' and insecurity

The Conference of European Rabbis said it shared the communities’ concerns.
The Conference of European Rabbis said it shared the communities’ concerns.

European Jewish groups have urged caution after Belgium’s government said it would withdraw military protection for Jewish buildings just one week before the High Holy Days, after the country’s threat level was downgraded.

Soldiers have patrolled areas with big Jewish populations- since 2014, when  a gunman killed four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. 

The move comes at a time of increased concern across the continent with incidents in recent weeks including the burning of Israeli flags in Germany and an attack on a woman in Austria after she was seen reading a Jewish book.

The Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organisations in Belgium said armed soldiers outside Jewish buildings had been “undeniably dissuasive” to potential attackers, and that withdrawing them “increases the threat and reinforces the feeling of insecurity”.

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