This is the sixth day of continued Israeli retaliation and air strikes in Gaza.
Much of the land, home to more than 2 million people, has been reduced to rubble. The death toll in Israel from Hamas attacks also continues to rise.
On Friday the 13th, purported terrorist threats began circulating on social media, and many people in Southern California and across the country were concerned. Local law enforcement said they were preparing to step up security following reports that Hamas was encouraging supporters to take to the streets to celebrate Global Jihad Day.
Former Hamas leader Khaled Mashal recently called for a global day of outrage in support of Hamas attacks on Israel that killed more than 1,300 Israelis.
“I think it’s very scary,” said Los Angeles resident John Paul. “The purpose of terrorism is to scare people, and I think they’ve succeeded in scaring a lot of people.”
While no specific credible threats have emerged in Southern California, local law enforcement, including the Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles police departments, have issued statements confirming they are aware of the alleged threats and have responded to synagogues and Additional security was added elsewhere for worship events throughout Los Angeles County.
“We don’t have a credible threat in the area right now, but that doesn’t mean someone working alone might see this and decide to do something,” said Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Blake Chow. We really ask everyone to remain vigilant.”
A rabbi from the Pico-Robertson community, who did not want his name used for the safety of his family, said the terrorists will not win and encouraged others to be strong.
“I feel more inspired, bolder, stronger and more united with my people,” he said. “Some people are naturally afraid, but I tell them not to be afraid. I’m not afraid. Don’t be afraid. Stay strong.”
Several school districts, including Las Vegas Unified School District and Los Angeles Unified School District, also reassured students and parents about Friday’s threat.
“Our schools are safe,” the Los Angeles Unified School District said in a statement. “We want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and continuing to work with our citizen and law enforcement partners and will take immediate and appropriate action to address any and all threats to our learning community.”
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