A prominent Jewish rabbi has urged the EU to pass legislation giving special licence for Jewish people to carry guns.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin - director general of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) and the European Jewish Association (EJA), which is the largest federation of Jewish organisations and communities in Europe - sent a letter to the governments of all the EU countries.

The letter, obtained by IBTimes UK's sister publication Newsweek, reads: "We hereby ask that gun licensing laws are reviewed with immediate effect to allow designated people in the Jewish communities and institutions to own weapons for the essential protection of their communities, as well as receiving the necessary training to protect their members from potential terror attacks."

The call was made a few days after France was rocked by terror attacks, one of which targeted a Jewish grocery store in Paris in which four hostages were killed.

Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who was later killed by French police, allegedly told a French journalist during the siege that he had targeted the store "because it was Jewish".

During an interview with Newsweek, referring to the rise of increased anti-Semitic attacks throughout Europe, Rabbi Margolin said they "have revealed the urgent need to stop talking and start acting" and there are "warning signs of anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance that once again threaten Europe and our European ideals".

He then explained that a license to carry a weapon would make the Jewish community feel more secure as "right now Jews do not feel safe".

"We are threatened on a daily basis," he explained. "People are afraid to come to synagogue. People are afraid to go to Jewish schools."

"[The police] are not doing enough, for sure. We just need more. The best solution is having at least two police officers at each Jewish institution, 24 hours a day. Until that happens, we need to be able to feel secure in other ways."

He added weapons would all be registered: "We will be under the supervision of authorities. It would be completely controlled in the most professional way."

On the type of weapon, Rabbi Margolin said: "Even just a gun. I'm not referring to tanks, it's not about heavy weapons. It's just that everyone would have something in their pocket."

Rabbi Margolin, who criticised Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for calling for French Jews to "come home" to Israel, said he is arranging meetings to discuss the campaign in the following weeks.

He said: "The Israeli government should not make people panic. Immigration is not the solution to the terror."