A meeting last week by senior police and Knesset officials dealt with the preparedness of the Knesset Guard, the security unit responsible for the security of the Knesset building and the protection of Knesset members. In particular, the officials were concerned that the guard would be capable of handling the type of assault that saw rioters breach the US Capitol Building earlier this month.
The Knesset Guard is separate from the police and military and is considered its own branch of the security forces under the direct authority of the Knesset speaker, currently, Likud politician Yariv Levin.
Channel 12 News reported that Levin discussed the matter with Public Security Minister Amir Ohana and with representatives from the Israel Police and the Knesset Guard. One of the concerns was how long the Knesset Guard could hold out against a mob assault until reinforcements arrived. Police are not authorized to enter the building or operate in the compound.
The Knesset Guard has come under scrutiny lately as ongoing protests targeting the Prime Minister have challenged the security arrangements. A few weeks ago, some protestors were able to break through one set of barriers and hold a rally near the rear of the Prime Minister’s residence.
Earlier this month, the Our Way movement, which describes itself as a “non-partisan civil society movement,” conducted a survey, revealing that almost 40 percent of Israelis believed that an event along the lines of the Capitol unrest could happen in Israel should Prime Minister Netanyahu lose the elections in March.