In a press statement, the Israel Police spokesperson urged Israelis to carry guns for personal safety amid the High Holy Days.
POLICE PATROL outside al-Aqsa Mosque amid clashes in the area this week.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
The Israel Police spokesperson suggested that Jews should carry weapons on Yom Kippur in a Tuesday press statement.
The recommendation came in a message regarding police preparedness as the approach of the Jewish High Holy Days brings increased security risk in a Tuesday press statement.
As part of the measures that the public should take, he emphasized was for citizens to carry weapons and be trained in their use.
“As every year, in preparation for the High Holy Days, the level of readiness has been increased in certain areas, with an emphasis on cities such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and prayer and entertainment venues,” Levi said.
He went on to assert that in the weeks leading up to the High Holy Days, Israel faces more severe threats to public safety as a result of crime and terror.
“Now, a few days before Yom Kippur and during the holiday season, there are dozens of alerts. Alongside the escalating incitement to terror on social media, this has led the Israel Police to deploy thousands of officers, Border Police, and volunteers,” he stated.
Levi went on to explain that, at this time, the Israeli security apparatus is focusing on stopping terrorist acts before they occur, being able to respond immediately in the event that they do, and doing everything possible to keep the public safe.
Levi: Israelis should carry weapons
However, keeping the public safe, Levi advances, involves the active participation of the public in their own personal safety. That is, the public should carry weapons, he says.
“Today,” Levi said, “we reiterate the call of the Chief of Police and the Head of Operations and call on the public to carry weapons and be trained in their use when necessary, to bear their weapons during these days, even in places of prayer and family entertainment.”
The Israel Police spokesperson also addressed violent crime in Israel, particularly in the country’s Arab sector. He noted the police’s ongoing effort to combat such violence, particularly via the confiscation of weapons, saying that every firearm, explosive, or grenade recovered could prevent it from making its way to those intending terroristic violence.
Levi also warned against harboring illegal residents who unlawfully crossed into Israel.
“Most importantly,” he added in conclusion, “promptly report any unusual event that you find yourself involved in or exposed to and any publications that raise concerns about incitement to terror and violence on social networks.”
Yair Lapid objects
Opposition leader Yair Lapid objected to calls for citizens to carry weapons in synagogues in a pair of posts on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday.
Lapid criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who he brands as having lost control of his government.
“[Netanyahu] has lost control of his ministers. Everyone is conducting their own policy,” Lapid said. “To call on citizens to come to the synagogue on Yom Kippur armed is not a security policy but dangerous populism, acting against the Shin Bet’s position – chaos.”
“Instead of running away from the troubles to California, Netanyahu should rein in his irresponsible ministers and work to calm the situation,” Lapid added.