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Home ยป ‘Quarter Of Parents’ Kept Children Out Of UK Jewish Schools Over Security Fears

‘Quarter Of Parents’ Kept Children Out Of UK Jewish Schools Over Security Fears

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Around a quarter of parents did not send their children to Jewish schools on Friday due to safety fears sparked by the Israel-Hamas conflict, Sky News has learned.

At some establishments in London that figure increased to 40%, according to Rabbi David Meyer, chief executive of Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJes).

The figures underline the level of concern felt since the war was triggered by Hamas launching a deadly assault from Gaza on Israel just over a week ago.

Israel-Hamas war live: Netanyahu vows to ‘demolish’ Hamas in Gaza

The conflict, which has already claimed thousands of lives on both sides, has led to a sharp spike in antisemitic incidents and offences in the capital, Scotland Yard has reported.

In response, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak decried the “disgusting” rise in discrimination and warned those engaged in inciting hatred or violence would face “the full force of the law”.

While some Jewish schools temporarily closed on Friday as a result of threats, pupils were also warned to disguise their uniforms to deter retaliatory attacks.

Rabbi Meyer, whose group represents 130 schools across the UK, told Sky News: “As a result of security concerns against the Jewish community circulated on Friday, it is understood that around 25% of parents did not send their children to Jewish schools on Friday – at some schools in London, that number was as much as 40%.”

It is understood most schools will be opening on Monday.

While there has been strong support and sympathy for Israel over the Hamas attacks, the country’s response, including sustained airstrikes and the forced evacuation of northern Gaza, has also sparked anger.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across the UK on Saturday in a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

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Pro-Palestinian protests take place in UK The heavily policed rally in London took place with little incident, although the Metropolitan Police said 15 people were arrested.

Nine officers were treated for minor injuries amid altercations between police and a small minority of protesters in Trafalgar Square after the main gathering broke up.

Ahead of the demonstration, the Met had warned anyone showing support for Hamas, which has been designated a terror organisation in the UK, faced arrest.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman hit out at some demonstrators on Sunday, posting on social media: “To all those who saw fit to promote genocide, glorify terrorism and mock the murder of Jewish people, including women and babies – the police are coming for you.”

Read more:

Yousaf’s wife says family in Gaza ‘saying goodbye like it’s last time’

Britons trapped in Gaza will be supported, vows foreign secretary

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In a statement on Saturday, Mr Sunak offered a direct message of support to Israel and the UK’s Jewish community.

Condemning the “evil” attack by insurgents, he said the UK will do “everything we can to support Israel in restoring the security it deserves”.

He added: “We stand with Israel, not just today, not just tomorrow, but always.

“And I stand with you, the British Jewish community, not just today, not just tomorrow, but always.”