U.S. cities across the country are increasing security measures for Jewish communities and houses of worship after Hamas terrorists launched thousands of rockets at Israel on Saturday, killing hundreds of civilians and taking an unknown number of hostages, including women and children.
While state and local leaders said there is no credible threat to the safety of these communities, patrols are being stepped out of an abundance of caution after the surprise attack killed at least 600 Israelis and wounded at least 2,000 others.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the city, which has the largest Jewish population in the world outside of Israel, stands side by side with Israel.
“While there is no credible threat to New York City at this time, our administration is in touch with Jewish leaders across the five boroughs, and we have directed the NYPD to deploy additional resources to Jewish communities and houses of worship citywide to ensure that our communities have the resources they need to make sure everyone feels safe,” Adams said in a statement on Saturday.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said her office has been in touch with federal agencies and has directed state police to help ensure houses of worship and other at-risk sites remain protected.
“My administration has been in touch with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to assess any ongoing threats,” Hochul said in a statement Saturday. “While there are no known active threats to New Yorkers at this time, I have directed the New York State Police to work closely with local law enforcement to ensure all New Yorkers are safe and protected.”
New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin asked all residents to be “extra vigilant” and report any suspicious activity to local authorities immediately.
“While there is no credible threat to safety, law enforcement will be increasing patrols in sensitive areas – particularly houses of worship for both the Jewish and Islamic faiths – and taking other steps out of an abundance of caution,” Platkin said in a statement Saturday.
In Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser denounced the attacks and said that patrols have been stepped up at synagogues, houses of worship and embassies.
The Los Angeles Police Department announced extra patrols in Jewish and Muslim communities “to ensure the safety of all.”
In Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner condemned the attacks on Israel and said the city is enhancing security around synagogues and other potential venues.
The Biden administration “unequivocally” condemned terrorist organization Hamas on Saturday amid its unprecedented and “appalling” assaults against Israel. President Biden and senior administration officials stressed that the United States “stands with Israel.”
Hamas fighters reportedly captured Israeli women, children and elderly. Israeli military officials confirmed that a “substantial” number of Israelis were abducted Saturday without giving an exact figure.
Hamas terrorists claim to have taken enough Israeli hostages to free all the thousands of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel on Sunday.