New Jersey officials urge vigilance at public gatherings as Israel-Hamas War intensifies
As the Israel-Hamas War continues, law enforcement officials want to remind New Jerseyans to stay vigilant as they gather throughout the weekend for protests, religious gatherings or sporting events.
Devils fans from near and far filled Championship Plaza at the Prudential Center in Newark ahead of Thursday’s home opener ready to cheer on their team.
New Jerseyans News 12 crews spoke with were mostly unbothered by recent online threats to American communities. Many stated that they don’t feel unsafe.
Debbie Knowles lives in Alpha, New Jersey. She said she trusts local law enforcement. "I think that we’re safe here. The police are always present and they’re always taking care of us,” she says.
But as potential threats as a result of the war loom, particularly toward the Jewish community, what are law enforcement officials doing to keep us safe? And what should New Jerseyans be doing to stay safe?
In a press conference Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy said, "We are working not just within our administration but also with county and local officials.. we are dealing with federal agencies as well to make sure ... in communication with the FBI, state department most frequently.”
Michael Masters, the national director and CEO of Secure Community Network, stressed a significantly heightened threat for the Jewish community and will remain in heightened threat as long as the war continues. A former Hamas leader called Friday the “Day of Jihad,” urging Muslims to take to the streets in protest.
"There is extensive mis and disinformation online and our adversaries are counting on us to amplify so that our community can become scared and freshens and hide let’s not help them meet their objectives,” Masters says.
Paul Feldman, of Red Bank, says he'll continue to go to events "If you don’t go to the games and don’t do events, they’re winning,” he says.
Officials are warning against relying on social media or the internet for security information and are encouraging residents to listen to state and local law enforcement.