Texas school shooting: Could Israeli school security methods serve as a model for American schools?

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Shooting attacks on schools in Israel are rare, and the Jewish state’s preemptive security measures could be a useful starting point for improving the safety of schools in the United States. which left 19 students and two teachers dead at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

There have been six terrorist attacks against Israeli schools since 1974. This low figure can be explained by the multiple layers of security that Israel employs and the commitment of civil society to assist the country’s law enforcement agencies.

A public school in Jerusalem, Israel.
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A public school in Jerusalem, Israel.
(Digital Fox News)

David Hazony, a writer and commentator on Israeli and American affairs and father of 11, told Fox News Digital that the country is “working to identify potential abusers through behavioral profiling.”

Israel could not prevent the attacks if its efforts relied solely on armed security guards at every school, he said. Israel “invests heavily in tracking people’s profiles,” Hazony continued.

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It has a “complex, layered approach” to security that uses intelligence networks to examine weapons acquisition and social media activity, he said.

Yigal Arbiv, who was head of security at Chernichovsky High School in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya for 16 years, told Fox News Digital that it was important that the “head of security [for a school] be allowed to do anything” to ensure the safety of children and staff.

Arbiv, who has 27 years of military and security experience, said his system employed a “spotter 50 meters from the school” who patrolled the area and kept watch. Visitors to the school “could only come from one direction”, he said.

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A fence surrounds the school and cameras are in place everywhere in the establishment. “Hot spots” can be activated manually when a problem arises, by sending a message to the security chief and staff, said Arbiv, who now runs Israel’s krav maga and security training company (IKMA). .

“Anyone who enters the school must go through a metal detector, like at an airport, and sign their name,” the security expert said, adding that “the school has an exit and an entrance. .nobody comes to school without the head of security knows.We do not allow people not connected to the school to enter.

There are also “barricades around the school, so people can’t get in there,” he said. Palestinian terrorists have used vehicles to carry out bomb attacks in Israel.

Arbiv, who said he trained police in the United States, added that a large school complex also requires a motorcycle guard.

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An Israeli policeman works at the scene following an incident in Elad, central Israel, May 5, 2022.

An Israeli policeman works at the scene following an incident in Elad, central Israel, May 5, 2022.
(Reuters/Ammar Awad)

Another idea gaining traction is a volunteer force to add more security to schools. Leading this effort is Brig. Gen. (Res.) Amir Avivi, founder and CEO of the NGO Israel Defense and Security Forum (IDSF). He told Fox News Digital that “in every school in Israel you have a guard at the entrance who watches people coming in.”

Avivi pointed to the multiple layers of security Israel uses to thwart attacks on schools, including the domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet, which is “responsible for monitoring potential terror attacks and social media.”

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He said the Shin Bet is the equivalent of the FBI in the United States and deploys agents whose “capabilities are impressive. They have different and sophisticated ways of collecting intelligence from artificial intelligence and cyber” .

His organization recently launched an innovative program with the Israel National Police as well as the country’s Border Police to strengthen school security.

“We saw terrorist attacks and the uprising of Arab society in Israel last year [during the 11-day war with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip]“, said Avivi, who added that the IDSF was recruiting volunteers to help the border police and the police to keep schools safe. “In one day, we recruited 500 people, half of the people needed. “

A school bag sits outside a school in the coastal city of Netanya in central Israel.  (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

A school bag sits outside a school in the coastal city of Netanya in central Israel. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The police retain control and responsibility for the training of the volunteer brigade. “Border Police felt they lacked marketing capabilities to reach volunteers. Our organization is active on social media and they asked us to launch a campaign to recruit volunteers,” Avivi said.

The IDSF is made up of “3,000 reserve officers and agents from all branches of the Israeli security forces” who seek to ensure the safety of all citizens, young and old.

Avivi said: “We need something like 100,000 volunteers. Every journey starts with the first step. The Prime Minister is talking about 30,000. We think we need to go faster. That’s the discussion we have with the government and the lessons of last year’s riots should have been learned more quickly.We absolutely need to reallocate more budgets to border police and volunteers.

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This month, amid growing terror attacks, Israel’s prime minister announced a plan to form a Civil Guard to fight terrorism.

Avivi noted that “Israeli civil society understands the shortcomings of the government and civil society helps” and stressed that the volunteers are not a “vigilante” or “militia” force, but will be under strict police control. borders.

“They will be trained and equipped by border police officers and will intervene in various areas, including schools,” he said. Avivi said the program is an “example of how civil society can help government institutions provide security.”

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