Israel’s mall cops guard against corona, but forget about firearms

A security guard checks the temperature of passengers at the entrance to the central bus station in Jerusalem, April 20, 2020. (Flash90/Olivier Fitoussi)

Guards have been enlisted to ensure everyone entering the malls meets the health criteria. It seemed like a sensible choice.

By David Isaac, World Israel News 

Apparently, Israel’s rent-a-cops can’t multitask.

Security guards are ubiquitous in Israel. They have stood before every entrance to every mall in the country since a plague of suicide bombers struck in the 1990s. Their purpose was to check for weapons and bombs.

Now that they must all check temperatures and ensure visitors are wearing face masks, they’ve forgotten their primary mission, Israel’s Channel 12 reports on Monday.

Israeli malls have reopened but with certain restrictions, including the need for visitors to wear face masks and get checked for a temperature using an infrared thermometer before entering the building. Guards have been enlisted to ensure everyone entering the malls meets the health criteria. It seemed like a sensible choice. They stand at the entrances.

The problem is they’ve forgotten to check for weapons, as an undercover Channel 12 reporter discovered when he went to check together with an Israeli terror victim who survived a near-fatal stabbing attack at a supermarket in the city of Yavne two years ago.

They found that health regulations were kept strictly enough, but security had fallen by the wayside. A part of the problem was the large crowds of people that built up at the entrances waiting to have their temperatures checked.

At one entrance, even though it had a metal detector for weapons, they were waved through because of the waiting crowd, even though one of them had a pistol openly carried in his belt.

They were able to enter three different malls and one supermarket without being stopped.

Three of the locations defended themselves against the findings. In their official replies, they said that they are careful to protect their customers.

One of the malls replied, ” In light of the finding in your investigation regarding one of the security posts, which does not reflect the security and inspection procedures at the mall, we will make sure to refine the procedures and provide additional training to the security teams spread around the malls.”

David Isaac:
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