The U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy have moved to bolster police protection of Jewish communities following the surprise attack by Hamas on Israel and the ensuing escalating conflict.
Governments across Europe fear an increase in antisemitic acts as the fighting between Israel and Iran-backed Hamas in Gaza unfolds, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring it a “war.”
In London, Palestinian supporters were spotted celebrating on Saturday, prompting the police to create “reassurance patrols.”
London’s Metropolitan Police added that the conflict might lead to protests over the coming days. “We will ensure that an appropriate policing plan is in place in order to balance the right to protest against any disruption to Londoners,” they wrote in a statement.
Tensions between Israel and the Arab world are running high, as Netanyahu vowed to take “mighty vengeance” on Saturday, after over 350 Israelis were killed by the Hamas attacks on Israel. Netanyahu already started launching retaliatory air strikes on targets in Gaza early Saturday, killing around 200 Palestinians.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Saturday that he asked prefects across France to boost security for the Jewish community and that there were “no threats” so far, according to the Huffington Post, but that he’ll call a meeting to assess the situation.
This comes as French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne called the French far-left La France Insoumise party harbored “a form of antisemitism” after it published a press release calling for “the end of [Israeli] colonization.”
Berlin’s police said they’ve “increased protective measures at Jewish and Israeli institutions” following the Hamas attacks, according to the Tagesspiegel.
The Central Council of Jews in Germany wrote that they’re “in intensive contact” with the authorities. “The following also applies: No violence, no riots and no hatred on German streets,” it said.
Jewish NGO the Anti-Defamation League wrote that “our data show extremists appear to be emboldened by the Hamas attack, and have increased their violent rhetoric, posting hate-filled messages and calls for further aggression against Israel and its supporters,” hinting at a potential rise in antisemitic violence.