Hudson Valley reacts to Israel's declaration of war against Hamas
Israeli officials have declared a state of war against the militant group Hamas, resulting in a reported death toll of approximately 700 in Israel. Palestinian casualties number is at around 400, with strikes hitting homes and mosques in Gaza, an area under Hamas control.
Over the weekend, rallies in the New York City area expressed both support for Israel and solidarity with Palestine.
Members of Tarrytown's Jewish community convened on Sunday to offer prayers in response to the unexpected terrorist attack on Israel. While congregants gathered to express solidarity, many emphasized the importance of standing behind Israel's right to exist and condemned the attacks.
Ossining resident Steve Rothkin stated, "For me, it's not about the prayers. It's about standing and supporting Israel. Israel has the right to exist, and they've been attacked. We're not under attack here at the moment, thank God, but they are and it's hard for them."
Rabbi David Holtz of Temple Beth Abraham emphasized that this gathering was just the beginning of their efforts to support and unify during these challenging times. Holtz expressed, "The state of Israel is at war, but it is not a war that Israel sought, and we are shocked and sad and angry. We're not only praying for the Jews. There are lots of others who live in Israel and who have been affected by what Hamas has done. There are Muslims, and there are Christians who are all citizens of the state of Israel and who have suffered during this attack."