State leaders in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are reiterating their support for Israel as its government declares war following a surprise attack from Hamas.
On Saturday, the Palestinian militant group launched a large-scale attack on civilian and Israeli military targets from the Gaza Strip. The escalation occurred on the Jewish Sabbath and the Simchat Torah holiday a day after the 50th anniversary of the start of the Yom Kippur War.
Israel has since conducted hundreds of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip — hitting apartment buildings and Hamas members’ homes. More than 300 Palestinians have been killed, including children, and more than 2,000 have been injured.
Delaware Valley leaders react
New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin said law enforcement will be increasing patrols in “sensitive areas — particularly houses of worship for both the Jewish and Islamic faiths” out of an “abundance of caution.”
“While it is always our hope that the High Holidays can be celebrated freely and openly without fear, the reality is that growing extremism and antisemitism across the country requires that we remain vigilant and focused on combating hate at what is a joyous time for the Jewish community,” Platkin said in a written statement.
In a separate statement, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said “the world must unequivocally condemn terrorism against innocent civilians.”
“As a state with one of the largest Jewish and Israeli American communities in the world, today’s news is especially hard to fathom,” Murphy said. “As Governor, I stand with the people of Israel in this dark hour in a united show of resolve against terrorism. I have stood with Israel since the first day of my Administration and have proudly visited four times as Governor. It is a country we hold dear to our hearts, sharing an unbreakable bond with New Jersey.”
Delaware Gov. John Carney said on social media, “Delawareans stand with our friends in Israel and we strongly condemn these violent terrorist attacks that are targeting innocent people.”
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro also condemned the attack on social media, calling it “abhorrent” and warrants “world condemnation and outrage.”
“Our family has shared many special moments in Israel and our hearts break for those living this horror now,” Shapiro said. “We stand in solidarity against terror and are praying for all people in Israel.”