A governmental committee examining the issue of security in public spaces recommended a legal amendment requiring open-air shopping centers apply for the same permits as indoor malls, requiring more armed security guards and allowing the police to perform security patrols.
Israel plans to boost security in open malls and markets with on-site guards and patrols, two months after Palestinian attackers opened fire on shoppers and diners at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market, the Times of Israel reported on Tuesday.
Four people were killed and over a dozen wounded in the Tel Aviv attack, which many commentators said recalled the darkest days of the second intifada, when Tel Aviv residents were regularly targeted with bombings on public transports and places of leisure such as restaurants.
Israel responded to the violence with increased security, such as armed guards at restaurants, schools, and shopping centers. Armed guards are still deployed at indoor shopping centers to check for weapons and explosives.
The shooting at Sarona prompted police to examine what security shortfalls permitted the attack to occur. The attackers, clad in business suits, entered the Max Brenner restaurant without passing through a single layer of security. They carried improvised sub-machine guns.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan convened a committee to examine the issue of security in public spaces, the Times of Israel said.
The committee has reportedly recommended a legal amendment requiring open-air shopping centers to apply for the same permits as indoor malls. This would entail hiring more security guards and allowing the police to perform security patrols.
Police said the July terror attack in Nice, in which a terrorist plowed a cargo truck into a large crowd, killing 85 people, gave further impetus to finding a way to increase security in public areas.
Likely sites for the upgrade include the busy Tel Aviv harbor promenade, Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda produce market and a complex of hotels on the Dead Sea shore where a pilot program will be launched, according to AFP.
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