NEW YORK (PIX11) – A Palestinian terrorist group fired thousands of rockets into Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip on Saturday.
New York officials condemned the Palestinian Islamic group Hamas for its lethal surprise attack.
“We extend our sincerest condolences for all the innocent lives lost in these attacks, and hope that not another family has to experience the pain of losing a loved one,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement released by his office.
At least 250 people were killed, and 1,500 others wounded, Israeli rescue services said. It is believed that 232 people in the Gaza Strip have been killed and at least 1,700 wounded in Israeli strikes, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
“An immediate ceasefire and de-escalation are urgently needed to save lives,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said. “I condemn Hamas’ attack in the strongest possible terms. No child or family should ever endure this kind of violence and fear.”
As updates were made available throughout Saturday other New York and tri-state region officials commented on the situation.
“New York stands with Israel – today and every day,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “New York is proud to be home to the largest Jewish population outside Israel, and as Governor I am committed to doing everything in my power to ensure this community is supported, uplifted, and protected.”
Hochul directed landmarks statewide to be illuminated blue and white in solidarity with the State of Israel in the wake of the terrorist attacks by Hamas.
The following Landmarks were to be illuminated:
- One World Trade Center
- Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
- The H. Carl McCall SUNY Building
- Empire State Plaza
- State Fairgrounds – Main Gate & Expo Center
- Alfred E. Smith State Office Building
- Niagara Falls
- Moynihan Train Hall
- The Walkway Over the Hudson State Park and Friends of the Walkway Over the Hudson
- Kosciuszko Bridge
- Albany International Airport Gateway
Hochul also directed the New York State Police to coordinate with local law enforcement, including the NYPD, to ensure houses of worship and other at-risk sites remain protected.
“I emphatically condemn Hamas’ horrific acts of violence, kidnapping, and terror targeting Israeli families,” said Sen. Cory Booker, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Children and other civilians in towns and cities across the nation of Israel. I stand with the people of Israel and the families of those who have lost loved ones.”
There are no confirmed threats in the New York area, and state officials are monitoring the situation with federal partners at the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, Hochul said.
President Joe Biden spoke from the White House: “[The US] stands with the people of Israel in the face of these terrorist assaults. Israel has the right to defend itself and its people, full stop. There is never a justification for terrorist attacks and my administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.”
This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press
Matthew Euzarraga is a multimedia journalist from El Paso, Texas. He has covered local news and LGBTQIA topics in the New York City Metro area since 2021. He joined the PIX11 Digital team in 2023. You can see more of his work here.