On Tuesday, Israel’s Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch promised to ease gun laws in the wake of a deadly attack that claimed the lives of five people in a Jerusalem synagogue. According to the Times of Israel, it is not yet clear what new regulations will be put in place, but measures will likely focus on firearms for self-defense.

“In the coming hours, I will ease restrictions on carrying weapons,” Aharonovitch said over public radio.

The AFP reported that the new measures are believed to apply to anyone with a firearms license, but especially for security personnel and off-duty soldiers. The right to private gun ownership in Israel is not guaranteed by law, but citizens over the age of 27 may apply for a firearm license. The age limit is lowered if the applicant served time in the military and is raised to 45 if the applicant is a resident of East Jerusalem, where Tuesday’s massacre took place. Worshippers in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukaber said two Palestinians burst into a synagogue during morning prayer armed with a collection of knives, axes, and guns. The attackers killed five people, including three US-Israeli citizens, and injured an additional eight before being killed in a shootout with police. According to The Guardian, the last victim of the brazen attack was a policeman who succumbed to his injuries later that night.

“This is one of the worst attacks we’ve seen in recent years,” said police commissioner Yohanan Danino, who added that security will be increased near the area’s synagogues and mosques to prevent revenge attacks.

World leaders, including President Barrack Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack

“Tragically, this is not the first loss of lives that we have seen in recent months,” said President Obama at the White House. “Too many Israelis have died, too many Palestinians have died.”

The synagogue has since reopened for regular services.

Image from Matanya on the Wikimedia Commons

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3 thoughts on “Israel to Lift Self-defense Firearm Restrictions after Deadly Terrorist Attack

  1. Since the UK terror threat is rated as
    “severe” and organisations such as the ACPO are concerned about armed
    terrorists perhaps they should be suggesting similar relaxation over
    here? The Secretary General of Interpol also suggested that an
    armed citizenry may well be the best way to tackle terrorism. It would
    also likely have the benefit of reducing violent crime in general.

    After all public safety is the main goal so why aren’t they talking about it?

    I am actually surprised just to find out how strict Israels firearms
    laws are, I knew they were tight but I never realised the incredible age
    limits on them. The UK could definitely be a lot worse and it is our
    duty to ensure it does not go any further

  2. Israel’s gun laws border on draconian. The government can take your weapon at will & relegate people to no more than 50 rounds for their weapons. A lot of the laws are left over from British mandate times. One can not have more than 1 pistol of the same caliber, nor can one posses a rifle that has a military caliber, ie; nothing over 22 cal. One can not buy even a holster or any other gun part or accessory without a permit to carry which is damn near impossible to get. One must be an officer in the army, an EMS worker, and even then sometimes must show that you wok in Judea or Samaria, or be a security guard. Last year security guards were relegated to leaving their weapons at work & not allowed to take them home after 2 shooting incidents.
    Over the years the government has done its best to disarm the citizens in Israel, especially in the territories. By leaving people there defenseless & removing the military for their protection, the government has been trying “nudge” people into moving out of those areas. Foul politics at its worst.
    The problem with Israel having a “2nd Amendment” is that there is a large arab population that then would be able to be armed & that could pose serious problems down the road for the country.

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