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US cities boost security as fears spread over Israel-Hamas war despite lack of credible threats

by Ryan Lee
4 comments
Security Measures

US cities have heightened security measures in response to concerns stemming from the Israel-Hamas conflict, despite the absence of credible threats. Law enforcement agencies in cities such as New York and Los Angeles have increased patrols, and security measures, including fencing around the U.S. Capitol, have been put in place. Some schools even temporarily closed in response to these apprehensions.

The catalyst for this increased security was a call for a “day of rage” by a former Hamas leader, which has put American Jewish communities on edge. Consequently, security has been bolstered around houses of worship, schools, and cultural institutions. This reaction highlights the global impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict, as it has generated fear and unease even in the absence of any confirmed threats.

Law enforcement officials have expressed particular concern about the potential for violence driven by antisemitic or Islamophobic sentiments following the Hamas attack on Israel. Jewish and Muslim groups have reported a surge in hateful and threatening rhetoric on social media platforms.

FBI Director Christopher Wray emphasized the need to remain vigilant, as there is a possibility that Hamas or other foreign terrorist organizations might exploit the conflict to incite attacks within the United States.

The escalating conflict has left individuals like Ashley Reyes, a Jewish resident of Montclair, New Jersey, feeling less secure and worried for her child’s safety. This unease has led to conversations about concealing one’s identity out of fear.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian American Community Center in Clifton, New Jersey, has faced an increase in harassing communications via phone calls, emails, and social media messages. They have responded by restricting access to their facility to known individuals only.

In response to these concerns, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced additional police patrols in certain neighborhoods and allocated extra resources to schools and places of worship. The presence of law enforcement has been notable at protests, rallies, and vigils in the city, with some synagogues hiring private security guards.

Both Mayor Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul emphasized that there is no credible threat against the city or the state. They encouraged New Yorkers not to alter their daily lives unnecessarily, as doing so would be giving in to the terrorists.

In a separate incident, a New York City councilmember, Inna Vernikov, was arrested for carrying a handgun during a student demonstration supporting Palestinians. Vernikov, who is Jewish, has been a vocal opponent of Palestinian activists, but her actions have sparked controversy.

The Israel-Hamas conflict has also led to dueling protests and increased security measures at educational institutions. Columbia University limited access to its Manhattan campus during planned demonstrations, while Las Vegas’ Innovations International Charter School canceled classes as a precaution.

Police departments in various cities, including Los Angeles, Westchester County, New York, and Boston, have been actively engaging with Jewish and Muslim communities, providing extra patrols and security.

The Secure Community Network, which advises U.S. Jewish institutions on security matters, has encouraged vigilance but advised institutions not to close their doors unless specific information from law enforcement suggests otherwise. Its CEO, Michael Masters, urged communities not to succumb to fear or online threats, emphasizing the need to stand firm in the face of adversity.

In summary, U.S. cities have responded with increased security measures due to concerns related to the Israel-Hamas conflict, despite a lack of confirmed threats. This response reflects the global impact of the conflict and the importance of vigilance in the face of potential violence driven by extremist sentiments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Security Measures

Why are U.S. cities increasing security measures in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict?

U.S. cities are increasing security measures in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict due to concerns about potential violence and threats inspired by the conflict. While there are no credible threats in the U.S., a call for a “day of rage” by a former Hamas leader has put American Jewish communities on edge. Law enforcement officials are particularly concerned about the possibility of violence driven by antisemitic or Islamophobic sentiments following the Hamas attack on Israel.

What specific security measures have been implemented in U.S. cities?

Cities like New York and Los Angeles have implemented a range of security measures. These include increased police patrols, the erection of fencing around the U.S. Capitol, and heightened security around houses of worship, schools, and cultural institutions. Some schools have temporarily closed, and synagogues have hired private security guards. Additionally, police departments in various cities have engaged with Jewish and Muslim communities, providing extra patrols and security.

How have individuals been affected by these security concerns?

Individuals, such as Ashley Reyes in Montclair, New Jersey, have expressed feeling less safe as a result of the escalating conflict. Some have even considered concealing their identity out of fear. The Palestinian American Community Center in Clifton, New Jersey, has reported an increase in harassing communications, leading them to restrict access to their facility.

What is the message from New York City officials regarding these security measures?

New York City officials, including Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul, have emphasized that there are no credible threats against the city or the state. They encourage New Yorkers not to alter their daily lives unnecessarily, as doing so would be seen as giving in to the terrorists. The aim is to maintain confidence in the safety of the city.

How has the Israel-Hamas conflict impacted educational institutions?

Educational institutions, such as Columbia University and the Innovations International Charter School in Las Vegas, have taken precautionary measures in response to the conflict. Columbia limited public access to its campus during planned demonstrations, while the Las Vegas charter school canceled classes as a precaution.

What is the stance of the Secure Community Network on these security concerns?

The Secure Community Network, which advises U.S. Jewish institutions on security, encourages vigilance but advises institutions not to close their doors unless specific information from law enforcement suggests otherwise. CEO Michael Masters warns against letting fear or online threats cause chaos in Jewish communities, emphasizing the importance of resilience in the face of adversity.

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4 comments

InsightfulThinker October 13, 2023 - 10:40 pm

Intense situation at Columbia Univ + Las Vegas school. tensions high.

Reply
Reader123 October 14, 2023 - 1:24 pm

so, cities in US boostin security coz of israel hamas stuff. no real threat tho. still, ppl feel scared. need 2 stay vigilant.

Reply
NewsJunkie77 October 14, 2023 - 2:05 pm

NYC Mayor Adams + Gov. Hochul say no reason 2 b scared. don’t let terrorists win by changing our lives.

Reply
ConcernedCitizen October 14, 2023 - 8:16 pm

Sad to see rise in hate speech. Need more tolerance + unity in these times.

Reply

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