Increased NYPD Patrols Continue After Reports Falsely Blaming Israel for Strike on Gaza City Hospital
By Yehudit Garmaise
As Jewish New Yorkers sense more anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment than usual in the days and weeks after Hamas’s horrific attacks on southern Israeli kibbutzim and other communities on October 7, Mayor Eric Adams, called for an 8 p.m. Zoom meeting last night with Jewish community members to discuss their security concerns.
Although our hearts are broken for our brethren in Israel, Mayor Adams and the NYPD want Jewish New Yorkers to feel assured that “There are no credible threats to New York City,” said Boro Park’s Joel Eisdorfer, wMayor Eric Adam's senior adviser, who opened the Zoom call.
“As a collective effort, we strive to ensure the safety and security of our community,” said Eisdorfer to 400 Jewish participants, many of whom expressed gratitude throughout the hour-long call for the excellent communication, extra patrols, and calming reassurances from the NYPD.
What sparked the need for a community-wide Zoom call were what Rebecca Weiner, the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism, said were, “some posts circulating on Twitter [which the NYPD monitors for threats] that suggest that there is a credible threat to New York City: That is not true.
“That is misinformation, which is a theme that we have been dealing with for the last 10 days: A lot of misinformation circulating online.”
The threatening posts appeared not long after Tuesday’s initial reports that blamed Israel for bombing Gaza City’s al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, at which hundreds of civilians were killed, Weiner said.
What likely sparked the threatening posts were the lies told by Ashraf Al Qudra, a spokesperson of the Palestinian Health Ministry and Hamas, who falsely blamed the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for the hospital bombing in Gaza City.
As is their wont, some news outlets not sympathetic to Israel neglected to await confirmation of the facts before pointing their fingers at the IDF, which immediately denied its part in the carnage and quickly produced audio evidence of Palestinians acknowledging the misfire of their own rockets on their own people.
“Because misinformation is read not just by Jews, but by hateful people, “out of an abundance of caution,” said Weiner, who is stationed in Israel, “the NYPD will be increasing police deployments in Jewish neighborhoods citywide.
“Our assessment is that the strike was a rocket strike carried out by members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) that unfortunately misfired and resulted in a just horrific, horrific loss of life in a hospital in Gaza.
“This strike will [further] polarize the already very high-tension situation.”
Just like last Friday’s threatening warnings on social media, the NYPD is seeing another increase in more Pro-Palestinian calls for another “Day of Resistance” and increased protest activity around the world in response to the PIJ’s bombing of its own hospital.
“However terrible the situation overseas, what we are dealing with in New York is very different,” Weiner said. “I have been extremely proud of our city and how we have handled the protest activity and a lot of tension over the last ten days.
“Everyone has stayed calm; they have stayed peaceful. They have voiced different opinions, and the NYPD remains committed to making sure that we are surging our resources to locations around the city.
“As we did last week, we are going to have enhanced patrols at houses of worship, schools, and other sensitive locations around the City.
“We will certainly surge resources to ensure that all protest activity is safe.”