Many on Saturday woke to shocking footage on their TVs of buildings in Israel tumbling apart from Hamas missiles and women and children being kidnapped and tortured by Hamas militants/terrorists.
“This morning, as American Jews celebrated the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, along with Shabbat, communities across Israel retreated to safe rooms,” said Daniel Reingold president and CEO of RiverSpring Living. “We awoke to the horrifying and heartbreaking news of large-scale attacks as, fifty years after the beginning of the Yom Kippur War, terrorists invaded Israel.”
The attack has received condemnation from many local electeds and New York officials, such as Councilman Eric Dinowitz, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, U.S. Reps. Ritchie Torres and Adriano Espaillat, State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, Borough President Vanessa Gibson, Mayor Eric Adams, and Governor Kathy Hochul.
“Hamas has declared war on Israel,” Torres stated. “Launching a surprise and unprecedented terrorist attack overnight, invading Israeli towns and taking hostages, firing more than 2,000 rockets, murdering at least 40 Israelis and counting, and otherwise ambushing Israeli by air, land, and sea.”
The death toll for Israeli citizens is now more than 1,000, as of Tuesday, according to the Israeli military. U.S. President Joe Biden said in a press release that at least 11 Americans have been killed in attacks, with more suspected to have been taken hostage. The number of dead in Gaza is about 800, according to several news outlets.
The U.S. State Department designated Hamas as a terrorist group in 1997. Many other countries such as Israel, Japan, Australia, and the European Union have also designated it as so. However, Hamas is the ruling party in Gaza having been elected years ago.
The attack on Israel was further condemned in joint statements shared by Unity Democratic Club President Betsey Knapp, state committee member Morgan Evers, and 81st Assembly District leaders Ramdat Singh and Abigail Martin.
“As a mother, daughter, and steadfast friend of Israel, the images we have seen over the past two days have horrified me to the core,” stated Martin. “I strongly condemn and am deeply saddened by the horrific attacks carried out by Iranian-backed Hamas. I am saddened by the loss of precious lives, and scared for my community members and friends currently in Israel. By initiating this violence, Hamas is bringing more violence against its own people.”
A spokesperson for the Hamas military wing has threatened to broadcast the executions of Israeli civilian hostages following attacks “without prior warning” on Gazan civilians sheltering in their homes, Forbes reported.
The New York City Police Department has increased security at synagogues and Jewish sites across the city, in the event of antisemitic activity or hate crimes.
In retaliation to Saturday’s attack, Israel forces have killed more than 800 Palestinians, via airstrikes. According to a Palestinian Health spokesman in Gaza, 4,250 people have been injured, as of Tuesday. The counter-attacks have been supported by many local electeds.
“I stand with Israel today and always,” stated Assemblyman Dinowitz. “I support Israel’s response to the savage attacks against civilians by the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists. These terrorists have launched thousands of rockets against Israeli civilians and kidnapped, beaten, and killed civilians. Israel not only has a right to defend itself but must respond in the most substantial possible way against these barbaric attacks without regard to proportionality. We must continue to unequivocally stand with Israel and their right to eliminate terrorists who have attacked the Jewish state.”
Rep. Torres joined nearly 400 colleagues in signing a bipartisan resolution, led by U.S. Reps Michael McCaul and Gregory Meeks, to demonstrate their unwavering solidarity with Israel in its defense against Hamas.
“Imagine terrorists armed with machine guns invading your community and home, searching for people to murder and abduct,” Torres stated on social media. “If your community and home were invaded, if your family, friends, and neighbors were murdered, wounded, and taken hostage, what would you expect your government to do?”
The U.S. has delivered munitions and military equipment to Israel, making their support clear. In a statement President Joe Biden said U.S. government will help Israeli citizens.
“The United States has Israel’s back,” Biden said at a press conference Tuesday. “We will make sure that Jewish and Democratic state of Israel can defend itself today, tomorrow, as we always have.