Belgium Spends $4M To Boost Jewish Security

Government Acts After Brussels Museum Rampage

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By JTA

Published June 20, 2014.
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The Belgian government will earmark up to $4 million for improving security around Jewish buildings, a Brussels-based daily reported.

The funding is part of the Belgian federal government’s plan to shoulder security costs for the Jewish community following the May 24 murder of four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in the capital’s center, the French-language daily Le Soir reported earlier this week.

The museum was one of the few Jewish institutions of the Belgian capital that did not have constant police protection.

A man wearing a baseball cap entered the museum carrying two firearms and shot the victims. Six days later, French police arrested a 29-year-old man, Mehdi Nemmouche, whom they suspect perpetrated the murders. Belgium has asked France to extradite Nemmouche, whom French police say is a Muslim radical fought in Syria with jihadists last year. A decision on his extradition is expected to be delivered on June 26.

Following the attack, the Netherlands is also reexamining security arrangements for Jewish institutions and will present a plan to improve protection in the coming months, Ivo Opstelten, the country’s minister of security and justice, said in parliament on Thursday.

Belgium and the Netherlands each have approximately 40,000 Jews.

In the Netherlands, the Jewish community in recent years has spent several hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on security, according to community leaders who have lobbied vigorously for the government to cover these costs.


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