A top police intelligence official in the New York Police Department said an increase in security around the city is about deterrence and reassurance for New Yorkers, rather than a reflection of “imminent threat.”
(Bloomberg) — A top police intelligence official in the New York Police Department said an increase in security around the city is about deterrence and reassurance for New Yorkers, rather than a reflection of “imminent threat.”
New York has been ramping up security throughout the city in the days after Israel was attacked by Hamas, which killed at least 1,200 people and spurred Israel to declare war on the Islamist group. More than 1,400 Gazans have been killed so far as part of the response.
Fears about potential violence and clashes have been stoked after former Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal called for protests in support of Palestinians on Friday.
For more on the Israel-Hamas war, click here.
“These calls to action are not new,” Rebecca Weiner, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism for the NYPD, told Fox 5 New York on Thursday. “We see tensions flaring up, we saw some protests over the weekend, we will continue to see protests today into the weekend. People have heated emotions, but we don’t see violence, and that is what we are going to ensure.”
Several pro-Palestine and pro-Israel rallies have already been held in the city, which has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, and dueling protests at Columbia University were planned for Thursday afternoon. The university said that it was closing its campus to the public ahead of the protests. An Israeli student was assaulted outside the university library this week.
An “All Out For Palestine” rally meanwhile is slated for Friday in Times Square. Morgan Stanley, which is based in Times Square, told staff in a memo that they could work from home on Friday if they prefer and with management consent. A spokesperson for the bank declined to comment.
The NYPD ordered all cops to report in uniform starting Friday and be prepared for deployment, the New York Post reported citing a memo.
“There’s a lot of noise out there and we have to remind people, don’t get sucked in,” said Weiner. “Everybody should go about their daily lives.”
–With assistance from Laura Nahmias and Katherine Doherty.
(Updates with Morgan Stanely plans in sixth paragraph.)
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