Major U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C., have stepped up security for residents, especially around Jewish and Muslim places of worship, in anticipation of protests on Friday amid the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas May cause threats of violence. the Middle East.
Police furloughs have been canceled in several major cities, and security has been stepped up at locations including synagogues, schools and the Israeli embassy in Washington. Former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has called for a global “day of rage” to “send an angry message to Zionists and the United States”, with protests expected across the Middle East and the United States on Friday.
The heightened alert comes after Hamas launched a deadly attack on southern Israel on Saturday, followed by retaliatory destruction by Israeli forces in parts of Gaza that killed thousands of Israeli and Palestinian civilians.
The Israeli military has ordered more than 1 million people in northern Gaza to evacuate ahead of an expected ground invasion, a task the United Nations says is “impossible without devastating humanitarian consequences”. Hamas tells people to stay put and resist in situations of extreme danger and tension.
The conflict has heightened tensions in the United States, with both Jewish and Muslim groups reporting increased abuse and threats against their communities. The expected protests have raised fears of possible violence.
“The FBI is aware of open source reports calling for global action on Friday, October 13, which could lead to demonstrations in communities across the United States,” the agency said in a statement. “The FBI encourages the public to remain vigilant .”
“Every member of the NYPD will be ready and in uniform tomorrow,” the NYPD patrol chief said Thursday. “We will not tolerate any hate, any acts of disorder, and they will be quelled quickly, and we will Will be ready.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said police are ready to protect communities across the state, but there is no credible threat that people should be concerned about. “There’s no reason to be afraid,” she said. “No one should feel they have to change their normal life.”
Police furloughs have also been canceled in Los Angeles, where officers will be deployed in anticipation of protests. In Chicago, police said Thursday they were “particularly focusing on synagogues and mosques to ensure the safety of all residents” after a bomb threat prompted the evacuation of a Chicago-area synagogue.
There have been other similar threats — a synagogue in Salt Lake City, Utah, was also reportedly told to be bombed — that Jewish groups say is part of an increase in threatening behavior in the United States.
Calls for violence against “Jews, Israelis and Zionists” increased 400% on the Telegram platform in the 18 hours after Hamas attacked Israel, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, which is tracking anti- Reports of Jewish attacks and vandalism.
“It comes from every angle,” Oren Siegel, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, told CBS. “We know what happens online doesn’t stay online.”
Islamophobic behavior has also increased, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.group explain It has received “increasing reports of harassment and intimidation of Muslim and Arab students in public high schools and on college and university campuses”.
Muslim groups warn that certain communities are being unfairly singled out by authorities. The FBI has visited certain mosques and people of Palestinian descent and noted “troubling trends,” according to the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Council.
Abed Ayoub, the council’s national executive director, said on Twitter: “We received multiple reports today about Palestinians being detained by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and/or visited by the FBI. National’s phone number.”