New York City leaders are stepping up security as the city prepares for unrest after the former head of Hamas called for a “Day of Jihad” on Friday.
Mayor Eric Adams and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul held a joint news conference Thursday where they announced an increased police presence around religious institutions, schools and transportation hubs and confirmed that the National Guard was on standby.
“There is currently no intelligence that indicates active threats in New York – the entire state of New York,” Hochul said.
“But during this tense time, we will continue to exercise heightened vigilance and take action to address potential violence.”
Adams promised to increase police visibility across the city and introduce additional security measures in vulnerable areas such as Jewish communities.
Police patrolled a Brooklyn neighborhood with a large Orthodox Jewish community on Thursday. New York City leaders have increased security measures ahead of expected protests
Members of the New York Police Department’s counterterrorism unit patrol Times Square on Thursday. A former Hamas leader has declared a “day of jihad” for Friday
“New York City is the most diverse city in the world and protecting our residents is the most sacred responsibility we have,” Adams said.
“We have directed the NYPD to provide additional funding to schools and places of worship to ensure they are safe and our city remains a place of peace.”
A warning from the NYPD states: “Out of an abundance of caution, the NYPD has planned increased protective operations at large gatherings, cultural sites and houses of worship, among other areas, to ensure public safety.”
The NYPD is increasing security in all 77 precincts, including entrances, exits and parking lots, and activated its Joint Operations Center at police headquarters in Lower Manhattan by Sunday.
Former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called for a so-called “Day of Rage” around the world on Friday after escalating violence between Israel and Palestine.
‘[We must] “Take to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday,” Meshaal said.
“Tribes of Jordan, sons of Jordan, brothers and sisters of Jordan… This is a moment of truth and the borders are close to you, you all know your responsibilities.”
“To all scholars who teach jihad… to all who teach and learn, this is a moment of application (of theories),” he said in a recorded statement.
The city is expecting large-scale protests similar to those seen over the weekend, but the mayor said the Big Apple will not tolerate violence.
“We are deeply disturbed by the message of hate that is encouraging violence in our communities in this region and around the world. “This is unacceptable,” Adams said.
On Sunday, a Palestinian protester waved a swastika at an anti-Israel rally in Times Square.
The governor said the National Guard has been activated and will patrol major transportation hubs.
Hochul encouraged citizens not to let terror win and instead continue to send their children to school and attend their places of worship.
“I understand the very human desire to protect your family and your children. “Given this information, everyone has to make an individual decision,” she said.
During a joint press conference on Thursday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said there was no specific threat against New York
Mayor Eric Adams pledged to increase police visibility across the city and condemned violence
Former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (pictured) released a video message calling for a day of jihad on Friday the 13th and urging Muslims to “take to the streets” in protest against Israel.
The New York Police Department has already increased its presence and instructed all members to appear in uniform, according to an internal communication.
“All uniformed military personnel are to perform their duty in the daytime uniform – effective immediately and until further notice, all uniformed military personnel at every rank will perform their duty in the daytime uniform and be prepared for deployment,” the message said.
NYPD Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division Deputy Commissioner Rebecca Weiner said officers were monitoring online posts from radical groups for possible threats.
“We are trying to ensure that violence does not manifest itself on the streets of New York City.”
“There’s the part that you see involving a lot of officers, some of our counterterrorism officers, our Critical Response Command personnel, who are deployed as high-visibility patrols, armed with heavy weapons and trained, in locations throughout City, in schools, places of worship, etc. react. sensitive places.
“And then there’s the intelligence side, that’s the part you don’t see – monitoring online for threats and making sure we can anticipate whether there will be repercussions on the city as a result of what’s happening abroad,” said she.
Many Jewish leaders fear Hamas sympathizers will target Jews in New York on Friday.
“We are now seeing the capabilities that Hamas has, and it is not crazy to think that this can happen here when there are hundreds of people here who have literally gathered to celebrate the deaths of innocent people,” David said Greenfield, CEO of the city-based organization Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, told DailyMail.com on Thursday.
“There is a palpable fear in the Jewish community,” said Greenfield, who also served on the city council for eight years. “Unfortunately, people are planning to limit their activities tomorrow.” I have people telling me they might not go to work tomorrow. “They are doing their pre-Shabbat shopping today, which would normally be on Friday.”
The NYPD has called for all officers to be in uniform and is increasing their presence in vulnerable areas
There is an increased police presence outside the Barclays Center ahead of a Brooklyn Nets preseason game on Thursday
A person walks while police patrol a Brooklyn neighborhood on Thursday. Police are investigating Wednesday’s incidents that may be war-related
Police, meanwhile, were investigating a series of possible bias crimes motivated by the war between Israel and Hamas.
WABC reported on several incidents Wednesday, including two Jewish residents in Brooklyn who allegedly grabbed a Palestinian flag from two men and hit one of them in the head with it; two teenagers are said to have fired air rifles in front of a synagogue in Brooklyn; an 18-year-old from the Middle East was allegedly kicked and punched by a man waving an Israeli flag; and an Israeli at Columbia University was allegedly hit by a 19-year-old who was tearing down flyers he had posted.
New York Rep. Simcha Eichenstein, an Orthodox Jew who represents the Borough Park and Midwood neighborhoods of Brooklyn, shared his own concerns about a rise in anti-Semitism while riding the subway Thursday afternoon.
“I’m not going to lie to you, it’s certainly a very different subway ride right now,” Eichenstein told DailyMail.com. “I look to the right.” I look to the left. There’s no doubt there’s more tension in the air.
“The idea of people responding to a call from the head of a terrorist network on Friday is obviously concerning,” he said. “And when people not only see what happened in Israel, but also after this terrorist attack, they see the people of New York City, elected officials and organizations cheering it, then people are very concerned.”
In the Middle East, the Israeli death toll has reached more than 1,300 and more than 1,500 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza authorities.