Schools Shut in Belgium and Holland After Bloody Anti-Terror Raid
Jewish schools in Belgium and Amsterdam were temporarily shuttered following a police raid on suspected terrorists.
In Antwerp and Brussels, major Jewish schools suspended their activity on Friday as a response to security force’s decision to escalate Belgium’s level of alert to the penultimate Level 3, the online edition of the Joods Actueel monthly reported.
The closure in Belgium and Amsterdam was decided upon as a precautionary measure following the death of two suspects in a raid Thursday by counterterrorism troops in Verviers, near Belgium’s border with France. Schools are expected to reopen Monday.
Authorities believe the suspects were jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist group who planned to strike police officers, the nieuwsblad.be news site reported.
“There is no concrete threat to our school following the unsafe situation in Belgium,” board members of the Cheider Haredi school in Amsterdam wrote to parents Thursday in an email obtained by JTA. But, “because of the uncertain situation that it creates, we found it would be irresponsible to open the school.”
Belgium and the Netherlands, which together with Luxembourg form the Benelux area, have an open border where passport inspections are rare.
Following the temporary closure, the Christians for Israel organization, which is headquartered in The Netherlands, launched a fundraising campaign to collect money for security at the Cheider school. Last month, Christians for Israel donated $8,715 to the Cheider for security costs and the organization is now aiming to collect $23,250.
“We cannot accept that in 2015, the Jewish community lives in perpetual anxiety,” the organizers of the campaign wrote.