‘Carry your weapons,’ Israeli police warn synagogue-goers

The year 2023 has been the deadliest since the Second Intifada; three attacks were thwarted on Monday alone.

By World Israel News

Major General Sigal Bar-Tzvi, head of the Operations Division of the Israel Police and the highest-ranking woman in the police force, advised Israelis who have a gun license to carry their weapons to synagogue during the High Holy Day period.

On Friday, the day before Rosh Hashana, police foiled a terrorist bombing in a popular Tel Aviv park that could have claimed multiple victims. On Monday, following the two-day holiday, three attacks were thwarted.

In her comments to senior police staff regarding preparations for the remainder of the High Holy Days, Bar-Tzvi noted the increased danger, referring to the Hebrew month of Tishrei, when the holidays occur.

“Like every year ahead of the Tishrei holidays, we have raised the level of alert in certain areas around the country, especially for the cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and centers of prayer and entertainment.

“In the preceding the Tishrei holidays, we noted a rise in the number of warnings. In light of this, Israel Police, together with the other national emergency organizations, is holding joint situational assessments, during which the level of preparations is set,” she said.

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In a separate statement, Bar-Tzvi said that the Israel Police holds joint meetings with the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) and the IDF on a daily basis.

“The rise in the number of warnings, together with the incitement to terror, which has also increased ahead of the Tishrei holidays, brought us to special preparations in which thousands of police officers, Border Police officers, and volunteers have been stationed around the country every day, in order to prevent hostile incidents and secure places of prayer, places of entertainment, and the general public throughout the entire holiday period,” she said.

The year 2023 has been the deadliest since the Second Intifada.

Calling on the public, Bar-Tzvi advised that whoever “possesses a weapon and is skilled in its use should carry his weapons” during the holiday period.

Yom Kippur, the 25-hour Day of Atonement and the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, begins next Sunday evening. This year, it marks 50 years since the Yom Kippur War, which shocked Israelis that morning.

The festive eight-day Sukkot/Simchat Torah holiday begins Friday night, Sept. 29.