NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Security is increasing in some Connecticut cities Friday after a former Hamas leader called for protests amid the war between Israel and Hamas militants. However, officials in several cities said they have found no credible threats.
Khaled Meshaal designated Friday, Oct. 13, as the “Day of Jihad,” asking Muslims to take to the streets and deliver a message of anger in support of Palestinians.
“I am a proud American Jew. I am here,” Anya Farber of New Haven said. “I am not afraid because when we are afraid, we stop living our lives. We talked about this on 911 we let them win. They will not win. They will not prevail in Israel. They will not make me afraid.”
In New Haven, Mayor Justin Elicker said there were bomb threats against Tweed New Haven Airport and a Jewish cemetery in New Haven. He said police gave the “all-clear” at sites in New Haven.
“We’ve cleared all the sites in New Haven where there was a bomb threat,” the mayor told News 8. “It’s so unfortunate that people are doing this at a time when we need to be focusing on peace.”
New Haven Polcie Chief Karl Jacobson said the focus was keeping that peace.
“We called in extra officers, specialty units such as the bomb team, SWAT team,” Jacobson said.
Hamden Mayor Lauren Garrett said the Congregation Mishkan Israel Synagogue received a bomb threat Friday. She said the synagogue was evacuated while police investigated.
“I have a message to the Hamas: wherever they may be, you cannot put fear in us. Long live the people of Israel, the nation of Israel,” Rabbi Eli Raskin of the Jewish Israeli Center told a crowd gathered in New Haven Friday for a rally in support of Israel.
Among those at the rally was a teenager selling bracelets to raise money for a volunteer ambulance service in Israel. He said threats won’t slow him down but may actually inspire him to work harder.
“You see all the people around me,” Solomon Farber of New Haven said. “All the people that were here. We are here. We are strong. We do not fear you, and here we are.”
“No one can justify this behavior,” the Greater Hartford Rabbinical Association wrote in a statement on the Hamas attacks in Israel.