Belgium draws inspiration for security measures from Israel

Israel's 'present but not visible' security provides path for Brussels

November 22, 2016 22:21
2 minute read.
brussels airport

A Belgian soldier stands guard outside the partially reopened departure hall of Zaventem international airport near Brussels, Belgium, May 3, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

BRUSSELS - Belgium has launched new security measures at Brussels Airport after suicide bombings there in March, taking inspiration from controls at Ben-Gurion in Israel, among the most heavily protected airports in the world.

Islamist suicide bombers killed 16 people and injured over 150 in the departure hall of Brussels Airport on March 22. The bombings were part of a coordinated assault on the Belgian capital's transport system.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Since then, the airport and Belgian government authorities have been working closely on a new security concept.

Deputy Prime Minister and Security Minister Jan Jambon traveled to Israel this summer to view the security systems in place at Ben-Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv.

At Ben-Gurion, cars are stopped at a checkpoint and given a once-over by heavily armed guards and cameras that read license plates. People deemed suspicious are pulled over for further questioning and possibly full searches. Largely unnoticeable monitoring continues all the way to the terminal.

Jambon said he was impressed especially by how some of the measures were non-intrusive for passengers. "There, security measures are present but not visible all the time," he said.
Israel security expert after Brussels attacks

This month, the temporary tents outside Brussels airport that were used for passenger checks in the wake of the bomb attacks were removed and now police officers newly trained in behavioral detection stand guard at entranceways, looking for signs of suspicious conduct among arriving travelers.

"This is not profiling on the basis of age, skin color or gender, it's about detecting behavior," Jambon said at the ACI Europe airport security conference in Brussels.

Facial recognition technologies are part of the new security system. The number of cameras at the airport has been increased by 25 percent to 1,250, including ones to scan car number plates as they enter the airport perimeter.

"In time, gates will be installed at access roads to the airport and will open only after scanning of number plates," Jambon said. He added that the government planned to extend the new security steps to other airports throughout Belgium.

Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist said the glass of the airport facade had also been strengthened so that should another explosion occur, it could absorb the impact better.

The airport is also looking at other measures, such as remote bag drops to improve security, while staff have been encouraged to report any unusual activities. "We want to serve as a blueprint for airports in Europe," Feist told Reuters.

Related Content

DRUZE RALLY with other Israelis in protest of the Jewish Nation- State Law, in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Squa
August 20, 2018
Analysis: Why some protests are more popular than others