New York City ordered all of its police officers to report for duty in uniform starting Friday after a former Hamas leader called for global protests against Israel, the New York Post reported.
In a recent recorded statement, Khaled Meshaal called upon people worldwide to demonstrate on Friday in support of the Palestinians. Meshaal was previously the leader of Hamas from 2004 through 2017.
“Tribes of Jordan, sons of Jordan, brothers and sisters of Jordan … this is a moment of truth and the borders are close to you, you all know your responsibility,” Meshaal said. “To all scholars who teach jihad … to all who teach and learn, this is a moment for the application,” he stated.
“We declare next Friday, ‘The Friday of the Al-Aqsa Flood,’ as a day of general mobilization in our Arab and Islamic world and among the free people of the world,” Meshaal declared, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.
In response to the call for global protests, New York City prepared for potential unrest by ordering all New York Police Department officers to report in uniform starting Friday and “until further notice,” according to a Wednesday memo obtained by the Post.
“All uniformed members of the service in every rank, will perform duty in the uniform of the day and be prepared for deployment,” it read. The memo also noted that officers would not be permitted excusals or shift changes. Additionally, the NYPD will increase its security at all 77 precincts by assigning officers to monitor entryways and parking lots.
The Post also reported that the department activated its Joint Operations Center, requiring several local agencies to notify the JOC “as soon as they become aware of any incidents related to this event” from Thursday through Saturday.
An NYPD spokesperson told the Messenger that the order was not in response to a specific threat but in anticipation of potential public unrest.
The NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, Rebecca Weiner, told WNYW Thursday, “These deployments are about two things: They’re about deterrence and they’re about reassurance.”
“This is not done because we anticipate violence or because we are anticipating an imminent threat,” Weiner added. “This is really about making sure people feel safe, feel supported and can go about their daily lives.”
Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel over the past week resulted in the deaths of more than 1,300 people, including at least 25 Americans.
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