Law enforcement stepping up patrols in LA after call for Hamas 'day of rage'

Josh Haskell Image
Friday, October 13, 2023
Call for 'day of rage' sparks concern, but no credible threat in LA
Local law enforcement agencies say there is no known credible threat to the L.A. Jewish community after a former Hamas leader has called for a "Day of Jihad."

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and law enforcement agencies say there is no known credible threat to the local Jewish community after a former Hamas leader has called for a "day of rage" on Friday.

"The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of recent statements made calling for action as it relates to the conflict in the Middle East," the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. "We have no information of any specific or credible threats to the City of Los Angeles but we are continuing to assess the situation for any potential impact to our communities."

The police department said it will provide extra patrol.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department issued a nearly identical statement, adding, "We are conducting extra patrol checks and supplementing additional personnel from detective division and specialized units to have high visibility in strategic locations throughout the county. Additionally, we are reaching out to our local religious communities to reassure them during this tumultuous time."

Various other local law enforcement agencies also issued statements with similar themes of enhanced patrols, calls for vigilance by residents and insistence that there are no known credible threats in the area.

"There is some concern and fear, particularly when there's this call to dismantle and attack the Jewish community worldwide," said Peter Levi, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in Orange County and Long Beach.

Locally, some Jewish people are on edge after someone was seen waving a Nazi flag Wednesday morning above the 405 Freeway in Irvine.

"It's just a disgusting act of hatred that even though it's protected by the First Amendment, should not be tolerated in our society," Levi said. "We just don't need this type of hate."

As Israel continues to bomb Gaza and more details about the atrocities committed by Hamas emerge, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"The failure to unambiguously condemn terrorism puts at risk not only people in Israel, but people everywhere," Blinken said in a joint news conference with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu thanked the U.S. for its "incredible support for Israel" in his country's "war against the barbarians of Hamas."

The situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate with more than 1,500 killed and over 6,600 injured.

Hamas is Israel's target, but innocent civilians have been caught in the middle - running from explosions and trying to search for supplies which are running out.

"There were a lot of bombings around us, but one of them was about 150 meters from my house," said Islamic University student Tala Herzallah.

"There is nothing that we can do," said Afaf Najar, who is sheltering in Gaza. "Even the place that I'm in right now is almost out of water, almost out of food."

More than 1,200 Israelis have been killed and over 2,900 injured.

City News Service contributed to this report.