The escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas has prompted France and other EU nations to heighten their security measures. Rising apprehensions over potential militant attacks have prompted EU ministers to press member states to increase vetting of migrants and deport those deemed potential threats.
Responding to these escalating concerns, EU interior and justice ministers convened following a series of atrocities committed by suspected Islamists. Among these tragedies, a teacher in France and two Swedish nationals in Brussels lost their lives. Consequently, police forces throughout Europe remain on high alert as the conflict between Israel and Hamas intensifies.
President Emmanuel Macron of France paid his respects at the funeral of the fallen teacher, Dominique Bernard in Arras, a northern city in France. The 57-year-old literature teacher was fatally stabbed at his school the preceding week. A dedicated teacher and a father of three, Bernard was posthumously awarded the Legion of Honour, the highest civilian decoration in France.
Bernard’s wife, Isabelle, also a teacher, described him as a “sensitive and quiet” individual who disdained the “sound and fury of the world.” The touching service was live-streamed in Arras’s Heroes’ Square under the pouring rain, attended by hundreds, both present and virtually.
The prime suspect in Bernard’s murder, 20-year-old Mohamed Mogouchkov, was arrested shortly after the attack with charges of murder and terror. A Russian national of Chechen descent, Mogouchkov was a former pupil at the school where he carried out the attack. Alarm bells had previously been sounded due to his extremist tendencies. Several members of Mogouchkov’s family have also been apprehended.
In Luxembourg, EU migration commissioner Ylva Johansson emphasized the necessity of robust actions against individuals posing security threats, including forceful and immediate deportations. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin expressed concerns over prevailing ‘naivety’, both in certain EU institutions and across some EU countries.
This meeting came in the wake of a recent Brussels assault where Tunisian gunman Abdesalem Lassoued fatally shot two Swedish football fans before being neutralized by the police. This incident underscored the flaws within the EU’s migration and asylum systems.
Plans to enforce an EU-wide policy requiring member states to return individuals remaining illegally have stalled over the years. The ongoing conflict between Islamist group Hamas and Israel has provoked fears of further militant violence within Europe.
Security measures have been tightened along Italy’s border with Slovenia due to growing concerns over national security and irregular migration. Slovenia will adopt similar border controls on its borders with Croatia and Hungary beginning Saturday. Several other EU states, including Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland, have also introduced stringent border checks to curb people-smuggling.