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Belgium Plans to End Army Protection for Antwerp Synagogues

Belgium is planning to stop providing soldiers for security around synagogues in Antwerp.

The plan, which has not been finalized, would end the army’s protection in the city’s Jewish neighborhood in September. The redeployment is connected with budgetary and manpower issues in Belgium, where COVID-19 has severely impacted the economy, and killed more than 9,000 people.

“The Jewish community needs more, not less, protection in these difficult times,” the Forum of Jewish Organizations of Flemish Jews wrote in a statement published Monday about the plan.

Belgian troops were first posted to guard Jewish institutions in Antwerp in May 2014 after an Islamist murdered four people in a terrorist shooting at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels, located about 40 miles south of Antwerp.

Antwerp’s center has about 100 Jewish institutions servicing a predominantly Haredi Orthodox population of 18,000 people. (J. Post / VFI News)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” — Joshua 1:9