• Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Sunak increases funds to safeguard local Jewish institutions

The Community Security Trust will receive £3 million in government funding

Rishi Sunak speaks to members of the media during a visit to England’s football training centre at St George’s Park in Burton-on-Trent, Britain, October 10, 2023. DARREN STAPLES/Pool via REUTERS

By: Pramod Thomas

PRIME MINISTER Rishi Sunak on Thursday (12) boosted funding to protect local Jewish institutions amid a spike in reports of antisemitism, while two Jewish schools said they would close until Monday (16) for children’s safety.

The Community Security Trust (CST), a Jewish charity that provides security at Jewish institutions including schools and synagogues, has recorded 139 antisemitic incidents in the last four days after the outbreak of conflict in Israel, an increase of 400 per cent over the same period last year.

The CST will receive £3 million in government funding for additional security guards, above the £15m it already receives annually, Sunak’s Downing Street office said.

“At moments like this, when the Jewish people are under attack in their homeland, Jewish people everywhere can feel less safe,” Sunak said, reiterating Britain’s solidarity with Israel following last week’s attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas.

“If anything is standing in the way of keeping the Jewish community safe, we will fix it. You have our complete backing,” he added.

Meanwhile, media reports said two Jewish schools in north London were closing until Monday as a precautionary step for the safety of their children.

Torah Vodaas Primary School and Ateres Beis Yaakov Primary School had each informed parents about the closure, Sky News reported.

Britain is deploying two Royal Navy ships and surveillance aircraft to the eastern Mediterranean to support Israel and reinforce regional stability, said Sunak’s office on Thursday.

The military package, which includes P8 surveillance planes, other surveillance assets, two auxiliary ships, three Merlin helicopters and a company of Royal Marines, will be on standby in the region to provide “practical support to Israel … and offer deterrence and assurance,” Downing Street said.

“We must be unequivocal in making sure the types of horrific scenes we have seen this week will not be repeated,” Sunak said in a statement.

“Alongside our allies, the deployment of our world class military will support efforts to ensure regional stability and prevent further escalation.”

Sunak said UK military and diplomatic teams will also support international partners to re-establish security and ensure humanitarian aid reaches the region.

(Reuters)

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