Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his country is now “at war” with the Hamas militant group following the group’s unprecedented missile attack that killed at least 100 Israelis on a major holiday.
Netanyahu called for a mass mobilization of army reserves as dozens of Hamas fighters crossed the heavily fortified border in several locations on Saturday during the Shemini Atzeret holiday.
Israeli health officials told the New York Times that as of 9:30 p.m. local time, more than 1,400 Israelis were wounded and at least 100 were reported dead; both figures are likely to rise.
Health officials in Gaza also reported that nearly 200 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,600 wounded in gun battles or airstrikes. That figure is also set to rise as conflict continues.
Back at home, several law enforcement agencies have confirmed that they will be increasing security and patrols in light of the attacks.
Several organizations in Southern California and across the nation have reacted to the events happening on the other side of the world.
We are appalled by this act of terrorism by Hamas against the citizens and civilian communities in Israel. We call on President Biden and Congress to act swiftly in support of Israel. Additionally, we hope all peace-loving nations of the world and the United Nations will condemn this senseless violence. Our hearts are with the people of Israel as we stand together to support Israel defending itself and condemn this heinous act.
Beverly Hills Mayor Dr. Julian Gold also noted that the Beverly Hills Police Department will be increasing security and patrols around Jewish institutions throughout the city.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass released a statement:
I join voices across the nation condemning this horrific attack on Israel. The Los Angeles region has the second largest Jewish population outside of Israel and many families are anxiously awaiting developments as they unfold. My thoughts are with those families this morning, and Angelenos stand with those under siege mourning loss. May their memories be a blessing.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore released a statement:
The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of the turmoil in the Middle East and the lives lost. In those areas where we serve both our Jewish and Muslim communities, we will be conducting extra patrol to ensure the safety of all.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles released a statement:
Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of innocent Israeli lives murdered by Hamas terrorists. We also pray for the health of those Israelis who have been injured and the safe return of those who have been kidnapped. Once again, on a holy day of the Jewish calendar, Israelis have come under attack. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles stands in solidarity with our beloved homeland. We are working with our partners in Israel and across the globe to ensure the people of Israel have our full support and necessary resources. Israel will prevail and the Jewish people will stand together — as we always do.
The U.S. State Department released a statement:
The United States unequivocally condemns the appalling attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israel, including civilians and civilian communities. We stand in solidarity with the government and people of Israel and extend our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks. We will remain in close contact with our Israeli partners. The United States supports Israel’s right to defend itself.
President Joe Biden released a statement that reads in part:
I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel. Terrorism is never justified…The United States warns against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation: my Administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.
The Anti-Defamation League released a statement that reads in part:
We woke up this morning as Israel is under a severe, unprecedented and deadly attack by Hamas terrorists from Gaza. The news is hard and painful, especially as we mark Shemini Atzeret and 50 years since the Yom Kippur War, but Israel’s resolve remains strong…The missiles aimed at Israeli towns and the terrorists infiltrating villages are no less than war crimes as they target civilians.
The Long Beach Police Department said in part:
In response to violence in the Middle East, we’d like to share the following – At this time, there are no known credible threats of violence to our community. As a precaution, we are increasing our patrols and are out engaging with our community, including places of worship.
For live updates on the conflict in Israel, click here.