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US Officials Step Up Security at Jewish Houses of Worship, Businesses

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Local and federal law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are stepping up their patrols of Jewish houses of worship, Jewish-owned businesses and Israeli diplomatic buildings as calls for attacks on the Jewish community in the U.S. intensify online.

Former Hamas leader Khaled Mashal recently called for Friday to be a global day of “anger” in support of the recent Hamas attack on Israel, which has left over 1,300 Israelis dead. He said demonstrations would send a “message of rage to Zionists and to America.”

Historically, such calls for action or for a “day of rage” have produced large demonstrations and unrest in Gaza and the West Bank. But they have not led to large-scale attacks in the U.S. in the past.

Oren Segal, the vice president of the ADL Center on Extremism, said that such calls are common in the Middle East but that now they are becoming more common here.  “Right now, we’re concerned about the vulnerability of the Jewish community and the possibility of violence targeting the community,” he said. “We’re seeing how white supremacists online are glorifying what happened in Israel. We are also seeing organization on the left at rallies and other events who justify and celebrate that violence, as well.”

Multiple law enforcement officials said they are monitoring “a lot of chatter” on social media about retaliatory attacks against Israel’s counterstrikes on Gaza, which have also killed over 1,300. 

Source : NBC4 Washington

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